Part of being a Fit Dad means finding ways to get your children more involved in an active, fitness-inspired lifestyle.
But I get it, making fitness fun for your children often requires some creative thinking. Children under the age of 14 rarely are allowed at gyms, and until kids reach a certain age, they can’t go run a 10-miler with you or climb a Fourteen-er (this is apparently the lingo here in Colorado for a mountain 14,000 feet or more in elevation).
The good news is, kids have tons of energy. And there are plenty of places to go and things to do to let that energy run free.
It’s important to start developing a fitness-oriented mindset with your children from an early age – the trick is to do things that get your kids active while still feeling like an adventure and not a workout.
Starting early with your kids helps keep them from slipping into a world of inactivity in front of a TV or computer with a game controller in their hands, void of the desire to be outside, to run, to jump, to explore, to be going somewhere doing something.
Dads, get this: Your children are born with a sense of wonder and adventure. Cultivate it by getting them outside and active rather than inside in front of a TV. Take them to a high school track in the evening and have races. Go on a bike ride instead of sitting on the couch.
The same goes for dads. We can easily slip into this same mindset, and many of us have more years of “experience” being inactive.
But ask yourself: Is another 30 minutes of TV or gaming or watching YouTube videos more important than helping your children grow up to be strong, independent and healthy? A father’s influence stays with a child for life, good or bad.
Here’s one of my favorite things I did recently with my kids. Use it. Your kids will love it.
Scavenger Hunt Hike
Create a scavenger hunt checklist for a hike or walk, either at a park, on a trail through the woods, or just around your neighborhood. The more “exotic” the location, the more excitement you can create.
Remember dads, the checklist doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just some things you figure you’ll have a pretty good chance of spotting on your adventure. Your kids will love checking off each item they see, and you’ll be outside together as a family.
Here’s the checklist I created for my kids recently for a hike.