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Keeping kids moving this summer

Linda Stultz
Certified Fitness Trainer/Fitness Therapist

(6/2016) The kids will be out of school soon and while we all like to think about a lazy summer day we need to keep the kids busy and active, as well as ourselves. This article is similar to one I wrote a few years ago but I think the information is worth repeating. We all need a reminder now and then. Maybe something will inspire you when you read it this time that may not have before. Exercise can be fun and thatís the way we need to portray it to our kids. Many kids belong to ball teams or other summer activities that keeps them moving but some do not. These are the children that need to find fun, interesting and active social activities to participate in. You donít have to join an organized group to enjoy social and beneficial exercise.

Encourage your children to make plans with their neighborhood friends to play ball, go swimming, ride bikes or any activity that will keep them moving so they will benefit from the outdoors, the sun and exercise. One of my clients just commented to me, he sees my grandchildren having fun in the weight room with us and when they get older they will not think about exercise as some people do, as a chore, but they will relate it to just having fun as they did when they were little.

I realize that todayís entertainment for kids usually consist of video games, TV, twitter, facebook and any other social media thatís out there. It is our job as parents to get our children interested in something that will keep their bodies in shape as well as their minds. Get creative and have them come up with games or challenges that they like or have them search the web for things they can do that will give them exercise. They can use social media to find activities that they can share with their friends and that way they are still using the computer to find the exercise their body needs.

Many children prefer to stay in the cool house during the summer and we can all understand that as it can get really hot during the summer months. There are still many things they can do inside to get the exercise they need. There are many fun exercise DVDs that will provide movement such as dance, running, boxing or whatever they may be interested in. Researching what is available may spark an interest they didnít realize they would enjoy. This may start a lasting interest in a sport that they will continue through school and into adulthood. Running track, biking, swimming, tennis, basketball, baseball or any sport is getting people moving and promoting better health.

I am so passionate about helping people maintain good health or helping them get back to the best health possible and to me it is so important to start with our kids. We are all well aware of the obesity problem in our world today but if we can start early with teaching our children about healthy food and the importance of exercise they will not have to struggle with their weight as they grow up. I am not saying anything that we have not heard before or that we donít know. I am also not saying that this is easy.

We have an abundance of junk food at our disposal most of the time. Sugary foods are very tasty and easy to grab on the run. Once kids get their sugar taste buds activated those cravings take over. Kids donít think about their future health and they shouldnít worry about it but with todayís busy lifestyles and food choices that are being made they do need to be educated about the possible circumstances that may develop as they get older. Children are very aware of the world around them and they can see how an uncle, aunt, grandparent or maybe even you, their parent is affected by a health problem caused by weight or inactivity.

I stated earlier that I am not stating anything new and I donít want anyone to scare their child or cause fear that could develop into problems in future years for your child but they do need to be taught about the importance of healthy eating and good exercise habits from a young age. Going back to my beginning statements, turn exercise into fun games and activities your children will enjoy. Get out there with them and you will benefit from the exercise as well as the family time. Social media is fine but it doesnít compare to family and friends spending time together doing something that reminds us just how much our family really means to us.

Do some research and present the ideas you find to your family and friends or ask your family and friends for their input which will make them that much more interested in participating. Call me at 717-334-6009 with any questions or for ideas to make exercise fun and interesting. Remember, Keep Moving!!!

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