It is never too early, or too late, to get your family moving. It doesn’t have to be boring and it shouldn’t feel like a punishment. The best way to encourage your boys to be active is to model it in your own life. And to get your sweat on with them!
Ways To Stay Active As A Family
- Enter a 5 or 10k as a family. It’ll give you something to train for with a common purpose. If the entry fees are too much for your family to tackle, however, you can always create your own. Map out a safe course with reasonable hills and flat land. Set a date for your “official run” and start preparing for it. Have each family member set time goals for themselves based on their personal fitness levels. Stagger start times so that everyone finishes within a few minutes of each other. Plan to celebrate after the run is complete and start planning for your next event!
- Exchange sets of reps for screen time. Our kids enjoy using the computer but having them parked in front of a screen is no good for their eyes or their developing minds. We allow it, but we also limit and control it. One way to encourage intentional movement is to have them buy a segment of electronics usage with exercise. For instance, if your son wants to use the computer for 20 minutes have him first drop and give you 20…push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, etc. Repeat with a different exercise for each segment “purchased” in a week.
- Make a mileage goal. Make the decision to walk together each day. Determine a number of miles you’d like to cover in a week or month and make a plan to go after that goal. Set aside a time to walk each day and get out there and do it. Keep working your way up, little by little, to stay motivated!
- Hire your kids to be the family fitness instructors. Alternate days or weeks, giving each person a chance to develop and lead a fitness regimen. It could be pure cardio, plyometrics, endurance, weights or a combination of everything. Make sure they have plenty of notice before they’re expected to lead so they can formulate a good plan. Their pay could be their own sense of purpose or maybe even a new fitness related item to encourage them on their journey.
- Set up a speed course. You can find many speed training plans online. Just grab one and customize it for your family. You can head to the track of your local high school or just find a big empty parking lot and use chalk to mark off distances. You can even use an open field. Time each person for their various runs and record the times. Repeat weekly and watch as those times improve!
- Give them manual labor. Today’s generation of kids are in serious danger of growing up soft. With so many appliances and machines to replace the sweat and muscle required from the youth of days gone, our children need us to give them healthy work opportunities. Mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, weeding the garden, cleaning the gutters, sweeping out the garage, painting the porch railing, pressure washing the house…these are all useful occupation and physical stimulation of the mind and muscle. Always ensure your child is capable and equipped, and stress the importance of working with caution and care.
How are you working to raise healthy, active young men?