Let’s be honest, the phrase that has the capacity to strike terror into the hearts and minds of some kids, is the suggestion from their parents that you all go for a “nice walk” to get some fresh air.
To a number of a kids, the prospect of being plugged into their latest video game seems more appealing than a walk, but that it is why it is up to you to make that walk much more appealing than just “nice”.
If you are looking to get into shape, you might want to read the sole F85 treadmill review, to see if it is what you are looking for. When it comes to getting the kids off the couch, here are some ideas that should sound appealing to them.
Something has to be done
There are many good reasons why a family walk is a good thing to do, not least the worrying trend for many children to be overweight or even obese, as a result of their lack of physical exercise.
About a third of children in the UK and the U.S for example, are now classed as overweight or obese, and childhood has virtually doubled in the space of thirty years, and quadrupled when you look at the figures for adolescents.
Even if your child does not fit into either category at the present time, it is clear that instilling a sense of discipline and enjoyment surrounding physical activities such as walking regularly, has to be a good thing.
Employing diversionary tactics
If your kid is up for the idea of a walk in the park and doesn’t require any persuasion, all well and good, but in other cases, it may well be that you have to deploy some diversionary tactics in order to make the intended activity more appealing to them.
All of the tactics that you could use are likely to be age-appropriate. If you have some young ones who seem to be welded to the couch, an adventure walk or the chance to go on a treasure hunt, will sound infinitely more appealing than just a “nice” walk.
With the older ones, there are more grown-up versions of treasure hunts, in the form of Geocaching, which combines modern technology with good old-fashioned exercise. In general, children love to explore places where there are lots of interesting things to see and do, so head to a nearby woods or a beach area if you have one within easy reach, so that they can get some exercise without even realizing it.
The theme behind your activity walk or how you sell the idea of some outdoor exercise, is really only limited by your own imagination. If your kids love insects, go on a bug hunt, if they can’t leave their technology completely behind, there is even the latest craze of Pokemon Go, which allows you to rack up some miles and interact with the game and other users at the same time.
Getting to school the healthy way
There are understandable safety concerns about how your children get to school safely if they walk or cycle, but there many benefits attached to starting the school day in this way, that it has to be worth trying to explore how you can achieve this aim.
Walking to school can prove to be one of the most beneficial physical activities of the day and the same can be said of cycling too.
A number of children these days tend to lack the same level of independence enjoyed by previous generations, so in addition to the obvious health benefits of getting your child to walk or cycle to school, there also some important lessons they can learn about their safety and the environment around them, which should give them an increased level of confidence.
You could always cycle or walk with them rather than take the car, or set up a parental group where you share the responsibility of getting the kids to school safely, as well as allowing them to partake in some vital morning exercise at the start of the day.
Whatever steps you have to take in order to get your kids to make that important connection between regular physical exercise and general wellbeing, is an investment that is well worth making.
When you consider how many children are now overweight, that nice walk seems more important than ever before, so whatever tactics you use, it is bound to have some positive benefits.
Vanessa Mercier is health and fitness writer residing in Seattle with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys the outdoors, when the weather permits and is currently learning Japanese.