As an athlete, you probably dream about the day your kids pick up their own little set of dumbbells, start riding their own bike – and want to race you – or toe the line for their first running race.
Most athletes intend to raise kids who want to be active, whether that means family bike rides to the bakery on a Saturday morning or mommy-and-me yoga classes.
Here’s how you can exercise with kids and instill a love for fitness in your offspring.
Opt For child-friendly Workouts
As children learn by example, it’s great having your kids see you work out. If you bring your kids to the track, gym or pool with you from an early age, they learn that exercise is a normal part of life – even if they wouldn’t be yet actively participating.
Your kids might join you sometimes to run or swim, but don’t press them. You can, however, inspire them to move by turning exercise into a fun game: Turn the music up loud and take turns in mimicing each other’s moves. First you show an exercise and they repeat after you, then it’s your turn to follow their lead.
Most of the time your kids will end up doing their own thing, but even so, it’s more likely that they’ll opt for a physical activity instead of being still and passive as they see you getting your sweat on, too.
As your children get older, they will be able to and perhaps want to join you for a workout.
Run with your kids
If your kids are small enough and willing to join you for stroller runs, then you might go as far as racing a marathon with your kid.
If you have an old fitness watch you’re not using anymore, why not give it to your kids? They’ll likely love seeing their heart rate climb or check how fast they were running.
If your kid(s) aren’t quite that cooperative and rather keep moving themselves than sit in a stroller, maybe they’d be excited to share the treadmill for a short walk or run.
When they’re not out in the stroller, they love joining me for at-home workouts.
If your kid has grown out of the stroller phase, suggest a bike ride and run behind them. You can even try doing relay races together.
And, of course, if your kids absolutely refuse to run with you, you can always run after them, chasing them around! After all, fitness is supposed to be fun.
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.