Create lifelong fitness habits by making exercise fun
April is Exercise Month, and doctors say children are more likely to make exercise a habit when it's fun.
KRCG 13 spoke with Mexico-based SSM Health Medical Group Pediatrician Dr. Dana Frazine about how to make family fitness more than just an item on your to-do list.
Dr. Frazine said when it comes to children and exercise, fun should be the main focus: "It's absolutely key to help your child find something they enjoy. If it's something they enjoy, we know they're much more likely to form a lifelong habit out of it," she said.
She said making exercise fun for the family doesn't have to be a chore - a gym membership isn't even necessary. "There are a lot of different ways to be active that don't require a lot of equipment or time," she said. "It's just a matter of deciding that it's something you want to do, and getting outside and doing it."
Dr. Frazine said the "just do it" mentality starts with parents and has a trickle down-effect for kids.
"If they see their parents engaging and enjoying fitness, we know that they're also more likely to engage in it as well," she said.
Dr. Frazine said she employs that moto with her own family. She also suggested adding pets into the exercise equation because it can give kids an extra interest factor: "We run around with a soccer ball, we play fetch, we take them on walks, we spend a lot of time engaging with the animals as well, so that it's fun, and everybody can exercise."
Whether its walking the dog, playing outside, playing a team sport, dancing, or any other sort of exercise, take the time to figure out what you and your kids enjoy - you'll help your kids form a lifelong appreciation for fitness when they realize it's not all work and no play.
Tune in to KRCG 13 next Friday at 5 p.m. for our next Family First segment - we'll talk with a physician about how to reap the benefits of trying something new and switching up your exercise routine.