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Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Active and Healthy, Even with a Busy Schedule

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

As a mom of four small children, finding time for your children's fitness can be quite challenging. With a jam-packed routine that includes getting the kids up, dressed, fed, and attending to various errands, it can be tough to ensure your little ones are staying active and healthy.


In this post, we'll explore practical strategies to keep your children engaged in physical activities, even amidst a busy lifestyle.



kids playing flag football



5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Active and Healthy


1. Promote Outdoor Play


Keeping your children active is all about providing them with engaging toys for outdoor play. Whether it's a ball, a t-ball stand, or a jump rope, these items can work wonders in encouraging physical activity. We all know that kids love their toys, and when they're excited about their playthings, they're more likely to stay active and engaged.


To complement this, we found that scheduling a weekly outing to the park can be a game-changer. Choosing a time when your kids are less fussy, hungry, or tired is key. The consistency of this outing helps establish a routine of outdoor play, promoting children's fitness and well-being. We've seen that when children have a set schedule for outdoor activities, it becomes a cherished part of their week, and they eagerly look forward to it.


2. Lead by Example


Being a role model for your kids is an incredible way to foster a healthy family lifestyle. Children often emulate their parents' behavior, and when they see you incorporating regular workouts into your daily routine, they're more likely to follow suit. We've experienced this firsthand in our family.


Whether it's a morning workout or an evening exercise session, our kids seeing us enjoy physical activities has had a profound impact. We cherish the memory of one evening when our youngest surprised us by joining in for squats, simply because he wanted to be like mom and dad.


Moreover, involving children in meal preparation is another strategy that has worked well for us. It not only instills healthy eating habits but also provides quality family time. We've found that cooking nutritious meals together can be both fun and educational. Our children have learned about balanced nutrition, and the importance of making nutritious food choices, and have developed a deeper appreciation for healthy eating.


Exploring active hobbies as a family has been a joyous journey for us. From hiking and biking to dancing, these shared hobbies have promoted strong family bonds and ensured that everyone stays active and healthy while having a blast. Engaging in these activities has encouraged a lifelong commitment to fitness within our family.



family outdoor biking together on a trail



3. Engage in Physical Play Together


We've discovered that some children require your involvement to truly embrace physical activities. For us, planning structured exercise time as a family has been a wonderful solution. It ensures everyone is actively engaged and fosters a sense of unity.


Activities like nature walks, swimming, and family baseball games have not only promoted our children's development but also created precious family bonding moments. It's heartwarming to see our children's faces light up as we share these memorable experiences.


Participating in team sports as a family has added another layer of fun and physical fitness to our lives. Whether it's soccer, basketball, or volleyball, these activities have fostered teamwork, communication, and greater physical well-being. Playing together in a team environment has not only kept everyone active but has also strengthened our family bonds and encouraged a sense of healthy competition.


We've even started a family tradition of organizing our mini Olympics, complete with sack races, tug-of-war, and relay races. These events are always met with excitement and enthusiasm. Our mini Olympics provide a fantastic opportunity to promote physical activity, friendly competition, and family togetherness. It's a time when we celebrate fitness and create lasting memories with our children.


4. Set Screen Time Limits


Managing screen time is an essential part of promoting child fitness in today's digital age. Setting reasonable limits on TV and video game usage is a must. Our family has witnessed the positive effects of this in action. By designating specific time slots for screen time and ensuring there are boundaries, we've encouraged our children to explore alternative activities that promote physical fitness and social interaction.


In our household, we've implemented a reward system to further motivate our children to limit their screen time. This system offers small rewards or privileges when they adhere to their screen time restrictions. The result? Increased enthusiasm for outdoor play and a greater focus on physical fitness.


Additionally, we've designated specific areas of our home as screen-free zones, such as the dining room and backyard. This strategic approach ensures that there are spaces where screen time is restricted, encouraging our kids to engage in physical activities, use their imagination, and develop social skills.



family playing outdoors together



5. Plan Outdoor Playtime Strategically


Strategic planning of outdoor playtime has proven invaluable for our family. Considering our children's energy levels and moods is essential. Some kids thrive in the morning, while others are more active after lunch or dinner. Finding the ideal time for outdoor play is a journey that every family must undertake.


To ease transitions, we've adopted the practice of giving our kids a heads-up that outdoor time is approaching. Providing several warnings helps them adapt smoothly to the change. This strategic approach to outdoor playtime not only ensures healthy child development but also fosters fitness in a way that suits our children's unique needs and preferences.


Conclusion:


Ensuring your children stay active and healthy is crucial for their development and overall well-being. Active kids tend to perform better in school, develop higher self-esteem, and have a reduced risk of future health issues. By incorporating these five strategies into your busy schedule, you can create a foundation for your children to be happier, healthier, and more active individuals.


Don't forget to share your ideas for keeping kids healthy and active in the comments below! Your insights can be a valuable resource for other parents looking to maintain an active lifestyle for their children.






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