Physical fitness should start early. As worries about obesity and nutrition fill the media, parents are taking more active steps to ensure that their children learn good exercise habits while they’re young. Here are a few simple routines (from the Parenting.com website) that can promote good health and fun for your entire family:
• Pushups. Have your child get into a raised pushup position. Then go through the ABCs, high-fiving your child’s hand with each letter (alternating hands). Or try a spelling bee: Pick a simple word and have your child do one high-five (or one pushup) for each letter.
• Sit-ups. Take a ball and lie down facing each other, feet touching. Sit up together and pass the ball to your child at the top of the sit-up, then go back down. Repeat back and forth for as long as you can.
• Water balloon walk. Fill a water balloon and have your child hold it between his or her knees. Then challenge the child to walk without bursting it or dropping it.
• Lunging. Have your child take the longest step he or she can with one foot, then go down in a lunge and hold it for a moment. Then have the child stand up straight and take a step with the other foot. Try walking to the car or the park, lunging all the way.
• Bicycle. Your child lies on the floor, lifts his or her legs, and moves then in a circular motion like riding a bicycle. Ask him or her to say “ha-ha-ha” in time with the movements. This can be particularly effective in helping younger kids head off tantrums.