I was a fitness coach and friend to thousands of kids in my former PT role with Gecko Sports. I can’t express just how much I loved the impact I was able to have on those children’s development. Every day I got so much job satisfaction seeing them get fitter, stronger, and more skilled, with improved flexibility and posture, as well as greater self-esteem and improved confidence. That’s why I thought I’d share some simple ways to encourage your kids to move more and stay active while at home.

We all need to move and exercise, it’s important for mums, dads and kids alike. If you want to get your child to be more active, involving them in a sport is always a fantastic start but since that isn’t possible right now, there are still ways to get your kids to get fit and stay active while home.

We are our kid’s role models, if you stay active they likely will too.

As a parent, I pride myself on being active in getting active. I believe that teaching our children to enjoy physical activity is one of the greatest gifts we can give them, as it sets them on the path to a lifetime of good health and it’s an added benefit that it helps us parents stay active too!

It’s not rocket science that physically active parents have a greater likelihood of their kids being active as well. It’s also a no-brainer that active kids are more likely to become active adults.

Home workouts you can do with your kids

When it comes to exercising at home, you can care of yourself and the kids by getting them to join in with your home workouts. Willow absolutely loves joining me in my workouts – so I’m sure your kids will love it too!

This kids-friendly home workout takes about 20 minutes, it’s a full body workout, and is challenging enough to work up a sweat!

Here is the home workout routine
  • Bent over rows (15)
  • High 5 Planks (30)
  • Squats (15)
  • Hallway sled push
  • Hallway walking lunge
  • Sit-ups (15)
  • Kayaks (30)

8 more tips for getting your kids active

There are so many reasons why we need to get active with our kids, that I honestly don’t know where to begin. The importance of being an active family is something that I could talk about all day, but to keep it simple, I’ll give you some practical examples that you can implement straight away.

I believe that teaching our children to enjoy physical activity is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

1. Be a ‘do as I do’ not ‘as I say’ parent

Never underestimate the influence you have on your kids. Act as a role model and never forget- they are sponges that soak up your every-day behaviours. Lead by example and practice what you preach. For example, little Willow loves getting involved when I’m working out at home, so I’m sure yours will too.

2. Remember it’s ‘horses for courses’

When it comes to the activities that your kids want to do, there is no right or wrong choice. When the time is right, you can facilitate and support as many different physical pursuits as you can. Don’t just try soccer, footy, and netball.

Eve and Willow at footy practice

Try lots of different activities with your kids to broaden their skills and help them discover activities that they’ll love. The idea is to have fun, keep moving, and spend time together.

3. Be patient, but persistent

Be patient until they find their passion. Some kids take a long time and need to try an array of activities before finding one or two that are right for them.

Walking with the family

4. Think outside the box to help your child find their passion

Remember, if your child doesn’t like the ‘typical sports’ they do at school, that’s normal. It doesn’t mean your child isn’t sporty, it might simply be that your child isn’t suited to sports that involve a ball, or maybe they’re more suited to doing an individual sport rather than a team sport. It could also mean they prefer sports or physical activities that are a little ‘left of centre’. Again, this is very normal. The trick is finding ways to help them explore all the different ways you can get active.

The best way to teach our kids the kind of behaviour we’d like them to adopt is by doing it ourselves!

5. Let your imagination run wild

Anything that gets your kids active, laughing and away from a screen can only be a good thing. You don’t need a lot of space, a lot of time, a lot of expertise or a lot of equipment to get your kids active and have a ball. Dancing, tug of war, treasure hunts, good old fashioned hide and seek, back yard workouts with mum or dad, boxing, tag… the list goes on.

Sam & Willow on the trampoline

 6. Get active as a family

Getting active is always more fun when you have a little buddy by your side. Weekends are a great opportunity to spend quality time together as a family. Walk to the local café instead of taking the car. Take a ball to your nearest park, bike ride around the neighbourhood, go hunting for shells on the beach, or go to the local pool together for some family fun.

It’s easy to be active as a family and is one of life’s true pleasures. 

Snez walking with baby willow along the boardwalk

7. Be selfless

As much as we want our kids to be ‘the best’ or achieve sporting conquests that perhaps we never achieved in our own sporting lives, it’s important not to live vicariously through them. It’s a lot of pressure, which could lead to them associating physical activity with negative feelings. Never forget that the best message you can give your child is that you will support them no matter what choices they make, and you don’t care if they win or lose as long as they are having fun.

8. Most importantly – make ‘geting active’ fun!

Getting active helps our kids with strength, flexibility, speed, endurance, balance, co-ordination and the list goes on… but none of this will ever surpass the importance of having fun. If you help your child develop a healthy attitude towards physical activity at an early age it helps them make friends and build self-esteem and general confidence. And, once they feel good about being active, in most cases, these healthy habits will stick with them for a lifetime.

Check out this live stream workout Snez and I did for all the kids stuck at home…. while in fancy dress!

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Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change to their lives. Sam Wood has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators in the health & fitness industry. Sam is the founder and personal trainer of 28, Australia’s #1 home fitness and nutrition program, and he's also the proud owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed, based in Brighton, Melbourne.