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PlaygroundEquipment Blog
Monday, September 8, 2014

12 Fun and Interesting Ways to Get Your Kids Fit

Chances are you have already encountered an overweight child who tends to be socially awkward, sensitive, or even painfully shy. As Myrna Weissman, MD said, “The relationship between obesity and depression goes in many directions. It is very easy in our culture to get overweight. And if you are depressed, you may eat to compensate.” In fact, a study revealed that 20% of obese children label themselves as sad. Whether your child or your friend or relative’s kid is undergoing this battle against the bulge, the key is not to restrict them. Instead, experts strongly recommend that parents must assure their kids that they love them unconditionally and they will guide them to discover and eventually make healthier choices, on step at a time.

Photo by Gaulsstin via Flickr

Playground Equipment has put together a number of tips that bring fun in your child’s fitness plan. As we were curating this, we realized that parents have challenges in gaining weight, too. So, most of these items are things that you can do with your children. After all, academic studies revealed that parents with sedentary lifestyle are likely to have kids who share the same lifestyle. Are you ready to get the fun in your child’s recommended 60-hour daily physical activity?

Dare to get dirty.
According to WhaToExpect.com, allowing your child to explore mud, sand, and even rain puddles is a good way for them to be active while they get to improve their sensory skills. There is nothing like running around in a vast green space, or at the very least a patch of grass. Did we mention that running uphill burns more calories than just walking?

Cleaning the window is as good as yoga.
Among the impressive lists that we stumbled upon, our favorite fun fitness hack from Fitday.com is all about cleaning your window for half an hour which is the same as a 20-minute yoga session. This is perfect for children who tend to be reluctant in stretching their arms and legs in front of other people. While wiping the windows clean, gently nudge your kid to reach higher and keep a better posture.    

Tone your legs without running.
The next time you find you and your baby sitting on a park bench, try this easy technique from Goodhousekeeping.com. Place your baby on your thigh and lift it up. While at it, hold and stretch your baby’s arms.  Make sure that your child is already active in an early age will open him/her to the world healthy living.

Park purposefully.
Whether holiday is near of far, Fitfoodiemom.com’s tip is applicable. Parking your car at a considerably far spot from the store you are visiting is a clever way to get your kids walk more. Of course, the chances of hearing grunts and stomping feet are very likely to happen– it’s but normal. Keep walking and show your children how the term “walk the talk” really means.

Photo by Mathieu Jarry via Flickr

Shopping can save the pounds from piling.
Now that you have parked purposefully, it’s time to push your shopping cart. An hour of going back and forth the aisles of supermarkets for an one hour burns 243 calories. Howstuffworks.com tells you to up the ante by bagging your purchases and taking them to your car personally. 

While shopping, get your shy kid to shop and speak, too.
This is also a good time for you to inject kid-friendly ideas, delicious meals that are big on taste, but are easy on the pocket. This is a perfect time for you to encourage your shy kid to interact with other people without forcing it.

As s/he shops for greener and leaner food items, challenge her to speak more. This may be in really small streams that will start from small smiles followed by a request or a nod of appreciation. Be careful not to push him/her too hard so as not to traumatize him/her. Since stocking the pantry is a default household task, your next visit is another chance to see your shy kid’s progress in as far as relating with others is concerned.

Photo by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

Grill your way to dinner and burn calories, too.
Speaking of eating healthy, did you know that grilling your food for 19 minutes burns 50 calories? Huffingtonpost.com never fails to give quirky, yet highly practical tips that will make eating less fattening. Go for skewers of zucchini, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, lean meat and fish for a filling yet weight-friendly spoonfuls.

Hate panting? Try painting.
Apart from channeling creativity and keeping kids busy when they’re bored, painting is something good for your interiors and your body, too.

By giving your walls a single coat of new paint, 1,026 calories will be burned in three hour’s time. More often than not, shy kids are into expressing themselves using art-inclined activities. How about painting a mural in your kid’s room for an extra challenge?

Photo from Wynand Strydom via Flickr


Your dog can be your kid’s personal trainer.
Dogs may be the answer to sadness and loneliness experienced by some overweight kids. On top of teaching kids lessons of compassion, dogs can save you up to 15 pounds per year by just running around with them in tow.

In spite their crazy ways and mood swings, dogs are also natural “security guards” that keep shady strangers away from your kids. Burnbabynow.com says that walking and running your dogs is definitely fun, hard-to-miss way to treadmill.

Wear your fitness badge on your sleeve.
Chronicle the journey of your child on his/her way to fitness. Since this road is peppered with tumbles and falls, the best help you can give is to cheer him/her in every step of the way. Webmd.com has simple badges in the form of wristbands that you can give your child whenever they hit their fitness goal.

Since research shows that children tend to act better and faster when there is some sort of reward for their action, injecting these badges against the bulges remind them that though the battle is still a long and tiresome one, they are nearing their goal– fit body and healthier disposition in life.

Photo from American Heart Association

Get active while enjoying screen time. Yes, it’s possible.
Dedicated to making the most out of kids who are glued to their screens, the American Heart Association has its stamp of approval on the NFL Play 60 app. Instead of the sedentary way of playing games, this app is designed to let the kids engage in real-life physical activities like running in order to upgrade the app. This is also perfect for shy kids who would rather befriend their tablets and smartphones any time, just because they have gotten used to it.

This practical yet still unexplored concept will surely turn couchpotato kids to runners, movers and shakers, in no time.

Swing the stamina of a gymnast fast.
An article in Shape.com, Mike Clancy, a personal trainer, encourages parents and kids to take advantage of playground equipment for some serious yet subtle workout. Clancy recommends the parallel bars for sculpting your arms and back. He even said that religiously taking time in these bars will result to stamina comparable with a gymnast. Now, isn’t that a sweet hit?

The Heavy Weight of Shyness
Obesity and shyness are two things that can cause a life-long damage to kids and their lives as adults. As 19-20% of children are battling this societal beast, parents ought to make the fitness plan a worthwhile, and fun avenue that goes beyond physical transformation. Parents, schools and other institutions must let children see that being fit is not about maintaining a healthy weight only; it’s about making better life choices that paves the way to a brighter future– free of sickness and other unnecessary stresses rooted on pounds gone overboard.

Learn about the author: Jennifer Holmes

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