Getting Kids to Exercise is Child's Play
I had an amazing moment last week.
My son told me that he’d love to go running with me. He’s only 7 so it turns out he didn’t want to go RUNNING with me. Instead he wanted to GO with me as I ran. (It’s great when kids admit that they want to be with you.)
I suggested that he grab some water, his helmet and his bike and ride along, in front or behind me. I changed my workout into more of a tour of interesting places.
I knew of a building that was being demolished so we swung by there and talked about dynamite and wrecking balls. I took him by a place that used to have a skateboard park in it to see if any ramps were still left. (there weren’t but he thought it was really cool that we used to have a skatepark close to our house) I challenged him to beat me up a hill.
When we got home 45 minutes later I figure we’d gone about 3.5 miles. He told me that he was tired but more importantly that he had fun!
And that was an a-ha moment for me -
Getting a kid to like to exercise isn’t about haranguing them about getting off the couch and out the door to stave off obesity and disease.
It’s about having fun. :)
In the ensuing days we flew a kite where my son ran endlessly, played king of the hill on a huge mound of dirt and played tag with kids in the neighborhood. Old school, sure, but effective because it’s packaged so it doesn’t seem like WORK-ing out.