Incorporating regular exercise into your family’s routine is important for setting your kids onto a lifetime path of health and wellness. Walking is a fantastic routine to develop. It is low-impact, you can do it anywhere and start walking no matter what your current fitness level is.
You can use the strategies in Creative Kids 30-day challenge to make walking a regular family habit.
Incorporating fun tools such as pedometers and non-food rewards for meeting walking goals is a great way to stay motivated.
Walking together offers a great chance for real communication. It is usually easier to bring up and talk about deeper subjects while the body is engaged, with less of the dreaded “we need to sit down and talk” feeling.
There are also lots of fun activities you can do while walking to keep your mind engaged so it doesn’t feel like work. Here are a few ideas from Growing Creative Kids:
Engage your senses: While out for a walk, or if you need a break, ask your child the following questions:
What do you hear at this moment?
What do you taste at this moment?
What do you smell at this moment?
What do you see at this moment?
What do you feel at this moment?
This is a great exercise in living in the present and getting yourself and your child into the habit of becoming aware and in-tune to their surroundings.
A great way to make exercise more interesting! Choose a sense before setting out for your next walk. You could go for a general senses – such as a “smell” walk or you can specialize such as listening for bird sounds. Here is a list of possible walks:
- Traffic Sounds
- Bird Calls
- Animal Sounds
- Sounds Created by People
- Sounds in Nature
- Unexpected Sounds
- Happy Sounds
- Sad Sounds
- Flower Smells
- Smells of Nature
- Smells Created by Humans
- Good Smells
- Bad Smells
- Hard Objects
- Soft Objects
- Textured Objects
- Metal Objects
- Natural Objects
- Man Made Objects
- Choose a specific color or shape to look for
- Look for natural objects that spell your name or initials
- Look for unexpected things
- Look for ordinary things you usually pay no attention to
- Look through the eye of a camera – digital or disposable
These are all great ideas to occupy imaginations on walks to and from school and very easy for babysitters and care takers to involve children in. Safety first – always say “There is a …” before touching or examining anything, so the adult can make sure it’s safe. Tasting can be added to walks by bringing snacks or having a special treat at the walk’s destination.
This is the another post in a ongoing series of posts on ways to incorporate fun and creativity into the routine things you have to do. If there is a “routine” topic or subject you would like to see turned into a post, please email me.
There are plenty of ways to incorporate walking into your family’s healthy lifestyle. How do you encourage your family to walk? Please share below!