How to Get Your Grandchildren Off the Couch and On Their Feet

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How to Get Your Grandchildren Off the Couch and On Their Feet

By |2018-05-29T14:50:57+00:00June 1st, 2018|Family, Fitness, Grandchildren, Health, Healthy Living|

Don’t let laziness run in the family!

Young children are known for their everlasting energy and exuberance. However, peeling the kids away from the screens of their iPads or iPhones is often a daunting task. Technology can interfere with quality family bonding time, as well as promotes an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle. For your grandchildren, now may be the time to disconnect from the screens and reconnect themselves with their cherishable grandparents.

A sedentary lifestyle elicits negative effects on both you and your grandchildren’s health. Currently, childhood obesity rates are skyrocketing due to a substantial lack of physical activity. According to the CDC, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970’s in the U.S., and nearly 1 in 5 children are obese. A main cause of childhood obesity is harmful eating and lack of physical activity. In the long run, children with obesity are at a higher risk for chronic health conditions and negative effects on social and emotional health. As an adult, you should place importance on maintaining an active lifestyle as well.

Use your grandchildren’s energy as a motivation to engage in healthy and physical activities, especially together! Beat the boring same-old family visits by implementing movement into your day. Exercise is an opportune way to bond across generations, so set a good example for your grandchildren by limiting couch potato time.

Make a positive change in your grandchildren’s life by promoting a healthy lifestyle, and set them up for a bright, active, healthy future!

6 Activities Better Than a TV Marathon

Family visits are often brief, so here are six ways to make the most out of your time spent together! Partake in any of the following active activities with your grandchildren for a memorable day filled with lifelong skills.

Volunteering

The act of volunteering builds compassion, selflessness, and character at any age. Giving back to the community opens a window for your grandchildren to appreciate the simple things in life. As a role model for your grandchildren, taking a day to give back will instil positive values in your grandchildren’s character as they grow. Choosing a volunteer opportunity to suit both you and your grandchildren’s passions will make all of the difference in their attitude. Team up with your grandchildren and try out any of the following deeds: donate to a food pantry, pick up litter at a local park, deliver meals with food charity service, or lend a helping hand at a pet shelter. Check out VolunteerMatch, an organization which presents opportunities to volunteer in your area.

Gardening

For younger children, the concept of gardening can be magical. Gardening is a perfect outdoor activity on a warm spring afternoon. Choose seeds which sprout quickly or buy pre-grown flowers which are ready to be planted into the ground. The ending result will be the product of you and your grandchildren’s time spent planting together: your special garden! Gardening will allow children to relish in the dirt and get messy without restrictions. Digging is never as easy a task as we think. Every gardening experience I have consists of digging and digging until my arm gets sore! Bad weather outside? Here are 8 easy plants to grow indoors. Gardening can definitely function as a physical activity, with a beautiful result in the end. Your plants will stand as a reminder of your special, growing (pun intended) bond.  

Hiking

Grab your hiking boots and get ready to hit the trails! Hiking is the ultimate combination of exercise and fresh air from the great outdoors. Hiking also presents itself as a learning opportunity. Hiking trails are bombarded with plants, rocks, bugs, animals, streams, and maybe even a waterfall! You can even incorporate a bit of bird watching into your leisurely hike. Did you know, birding is the fastest growing hobby in the US? Depending on your level of interest in nature (and frankly, your balance and stamina), choose the destination wisely! From a hilly nature trail, to your local park, determine the type of challenge you wish to encounter. Here is a list of hiking trails around America with a variety of intensities.

Visiting a Museum

Museums serve a purpose of educating and engaging people of all ages. What better way to bond than visit a museum with children-inspired exhibits! You will have the opportunity to watch your grandchildren’s wisdom skyrocket. Spending the day on your feet engaging with mentally stimulating and educational exhibits will also exercise your minds! Here is a perfect experience to bond, grab lunch, and both learn a thing or two. Science, art, history can all be made fun through creative and meticulous displays. Encourage deep thought to evoke questions and inspirations! Many times, museums have activities specially dedicated to families, working to promote meaningful conversation with hands-on fun. Check out a brief list of the best children’s museums in America.

Exergaming

What is exergaming, you ask? Think exercising plus video gaming. With today’s children spending countless hours playing video games, exergaming is an ideal alternative to get them up and moving. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, exergaming is defined as technology-driven physical activities, such as video game play, which requires participants to be physically active or exercise in order to play the game. Most games are motion sensor driven, use cameras, or have censored pads. Exergaming removes the sedentary aspect of video gaming, and incorporates a playful and competitive atmosphere for people of all ages! Take advantage of the exergaming trend to motivate intergenerational family fun. Virtually play golf, bowling, or tennis – you name it. The Nintendo Wii is a popular gaming system geared to get you up and moving. A study by the Mayo Clinic suggests games like Nintendo’s Wii Fit are one potential approach to reversing the childhood obesity trend. Chances are one of your younger family members owns a Wii gaming system.

Golfing

Golfing is a skill with lifelong benefits, so why not start the children off young? According to Health Fitness Revolution, golfing provides health perks of improved vision, better sleep, and reduced stress. As a socially driven sport, golf is ideal for bonding and fostering relationships while spending a day on the course. Golf now offers family courses for you and your younger, inexperienced family members to enjoy together. Regular golf not working out for the grandchildren? Mini golf is always a fun option! Beneficially, mini golf still capitalizes on skills such as concentration, patience, and hand-eye coordination. The PGA encourages youth golf because the sport helps develop life-long friends, self-improvement, etiquette and behavior, and establishes an active habit. A little friendly competition between you and your grandchildren is healthy and encourages a long-lasting relationship between you two.

Where Will Your Activities Take You?

The possibilities are endless! Staying active is crucial to our health at any age, for our bodies and our minds. We should aim to grow and stretch our potentials each and every day. Suggest any of these physical activities for the next family get together, and swap a fun excursion for a day of sitting on the couch.

What activities have worked to get your grandchildren up and active? Want to inquire about more youthful activities for both you and your grandchildren to enjoy? Ask a pup! Contrary to popular belief, we of the iGeneration do chase an active lifestyle, rather than just hours of staring at our phone screens!

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