Health Warrior Superfoods’ second annual Bring Your Kid to Workout Day is April 27, 2019. We’re challenging families to get moving together for healthy kids and healthy parents. Take the pledge to get moving and be entered to win some fabulous prizes!

Healthy Kids: Why Exercise is So Important

Did you know the CDC recommends that children and young adults age 6-17 get at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise daily for better health and growth? Or that they need both muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activity at least 3 days a week each? The keywords there are ‘moderate’ and ‘vigorous’. Consider this: walking the dog is a really great activity but is it really that vigorous of an activity? Think about how active your young ones were this week: how much were they moderately active? In that sense, it can actually be hard to meet 60 mins of that daily.

Sure, it’s easy to get that hour in if your kiddos enjoy a sport or still get recess time at school. But what if they don’t like standard sports? Or what if they’ve reached an age where school recess or gym time isn’t motivating anymore? Or what if their passions lean more toward art than physical sports? And what happens when make believe becomes too childish for your young adult? It just means that we have to be a little more creative about meeting our daily recommended 60 minutes of exercise.

Nowadays it’s easy to track screen time, but it can be harder to track on-your-feet time. And with so many portable devices available now, screen time is starting overtake activity time. But don’t worry, meeting that 60-minute mark of really active exercise can be easy and it doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Plus, the American Heart Association recommends “meeting people where they are” as one of their Guiding Values for helping people be healthier. Meet your kids where they are, and 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity will fly by. You can tailor each of our tips below to meet the interests and passions of your particular tot.

Quick tips for turning passive activity into more active activity for healthy kids:

Make It a Game with Measurable Movement: Fitness trackers aren’t just for adults anymore. There are kid-oriented fitness trackers that make it easy to create milestones out of daily or weekly movement goals. Use the tracker to encourage more vigorous activity out of normal daily activities. Try healthy kid challenges like these:

    • How many steps can you get in one day?
    • Can you beat yesterday’s step score?
    • How many active minutes can you get in one day?

Make Screen Time More Active Time: Knowing how much kids love screen time, start to look for ways to move instead of sit. You could try using screen time as a reward for activity time, but there are also ways to get the whole family in on the action without having to incentivize it. Like these “active screen time” ideas:

    • Love video games? The AHA recommends 8 different video games that will get the heart pumping and the whole family can join in on.
    • Love a particular cartoon? This depends on the cartoon, but every time the main character does something funny or quirky you can have your kids respond with some kind of activity. Every time Peppa Pig snorts is a jumping jack. Or every time a Transformer transforms is a cartwheel.

Set Up An Obstacle Course: What’s great about an obstacle course is that it can be set up anywhere: outside OR inside. Encourage the kids to be active participants in setting it up as well.

    • Create a tunnel out of kitchen chairs or lawn chairs.
    • Have them pull something heavy from one side of the room/yard to the other.
    • Ask them to crabwalk a lap around the kitchen or yard.

Start “World Records” at Home: Keep a chart of “world records” that the kids can try and beat. Straightforward or silly, it doesn’t really matter what the record actually is — just make it fun.

    • Who in your family is the fastest at cleaning their room?
    • Who can do the most jumping jacks?
    • How long can you stand on one foot?
    • Who can hula-hoop the longest?
    • Who can do “the worm” for the longest distance?

Try a Weekly Scavenger Hunt: Healthy kids love a good scavenger hunt no matter the occasion. Why wait for Easter for easter egg hunts? Or why wait for Christmas to find the Elf on the Shelf? Make your own occasion for hunting around the house or yard for the prize.

    • Rock Hunt: With rock painting becoming all the rage, you can combine art with scavenger hunting by having the kiddos paint rocks to hide (parents, aunts/uncles, grandmas/grandpas included too!).
    • Chia Bar Hunt: Hide their favorite chia bar around the house or yard as a special treat for persevering in their hunt for the prize. Try and time it, too!

It really doesn’t matter WHAT the kids do for activity, just that they do it. Like the AHA, we love the mantra of “meeting them where they’re at” — and no one knows your kids better than you do. Now go have fun!

Health Warrior Superfoods’ second annual Bring Your Kid to Workout Day is April 27, 2019. Take the pledge to get moving and be entered to win some fabulous prizes!