If your son, like my 14-year old daughter, is not into the great outdoors, how about a dance game? My daughter is a complete couch potato, except when someone challenges her to play "Just Dance." Then she will literally play for hours upon end and will wear out everyone else in the room. For her, it is all about the challenge - either from another player or the accomplishment levels built into the game.
My 5-year old twin sons enjoy the dancing, too!
5/27/14 2:33 A
My daughter was lucky this year in the sense that she had a teacher that would give them extra recesses for good behavior. As long as the whole class did well, every Friday they would spend the last half hour outside (weather permitting). The one stipulation was they had to keep moving. Some of the girls just wanted to stand around and chat and she wouldn't accept that. She also would have the kids do laps if they were not listening or behaving. They also had PE twice a week. The bad thing is that when she gets to middle school, PE will be an elective. She says she still wants to do PE. When I was in high school, we had to have three years of PE to graduate. Now it's one semester. That's ridiculous.
5/26/14 5:18 P
Bring back recess and lunch break and help attention without drugs for many kids
Fitness Minutes: (3,954)
5/26/14 2:29 P
I tried the C25K with my daughter who is 11. I even bought her a new cute pair of sneakers. She loved putting on the outfit and looking sporty but when it comes to the actual training she complains the whole way and really drags down my energy. As much as I love the idea of her exercising with me, the reality is just agonizing.
5/23/14 3:46 P
My daughter's last day of school was Tuesday. She had a field day, walking the last 1.2 miles of her marathon and playing tug or war against the teachers (who "let" the kids win). On Wednesday her summer bowling started. She went with her dad and brothers, and yesterday I went with her as I will today. She gets two games a day, Wednesday through Sunday until the end of summer. We never miss a day. I do find muscles that I haven't used since last summer when we bowled! And to top it off, my first throw landed me in the gutter. Pretty pathetic and my daughter found to be funny. The two guys bowling next to us checked to make sure I was okay, which I am -- just a big thud. The second frame I bowled a strike so my wounded pride was happy. Back for more torture today. Happy Friday!
I think it's a must! We are working to incorporate more of it into our lives, but my main goal is to provide a healthy example to my children, and be around to play with them. Planning activities that we can do as a family only seems to make sense to me.
We spent last weekend walking around Stone Mountain and playing in the pool. The kids stayed active and had a great time. We all got the exercise we needed without it feeling like work!
Fitness Minutes: (39,231)
5/22/14 10:27 A
Getting my 12 year old active (away from computer games) is an on-going challenge. Last weekend we went to Narcisse to see the balls of garter snakes in their snake pits, which was about 2 hours of walking. Then we went hiking for another couple of hours in the Stony Mountain limestone quarry looking for fossils (of which there are plenty). Everyone had a great time. And my son didn't complain a bit, not like when we just go for "ordinary walks" around our neighbourhood.
5/20/14 4:15 P
My daughters' elementary school started doing the Boosterthon fundraiser like four or five years ago. The kids raise pledges per lap they run/walk. Most kids do 30 laps, up to 35. Kids get prizes and shirts, PTA gets money, and nobody has to pay for overpriced junk like 95% of the fundraisers out there. They run this Friday :-)
Fitness Minutes: (22,848)
262 5/19/14 11:39 A
My kids are young adults but some still live at home. We all have our independent lives including exercise during the weekdays, but on Sunday afternoons we make it a habit to do something active together. This past Sunday we went swimming together and the week before we took a long hike along the Jordan River.
KOALABEAR, I know some twenty-somethings who got a kick out of playing on the swings and other toys in the park. It was a great, fun way to work in some exercise, and I was one of them! LOL
We'd take a boom box, and go in the early evening, when the little guys were all doing their homework after dinner...Those evenings were never boring! We even went, times when we had to brush snow off the swing seats--a good pair of gloves was a must! LOL
We didn't have kids with us, but I can see this working for a family activity just as easily... age doesn't much matter!
Edited by: I.M.MAGIC at: 5/17/2014 (19:12)
5/17/14 5:33 P
I am trying to get my kids more active. I personally walk an hour after I drop them off at school then in the afternoon or evening most nights, we take a walk together (they are 9 and 12; my 9yoDD is overweight and in TOPS with me, my 12yoDS is a healthy weight, just lazy). They like taking walks with me. Sometimes we'll do fitness videos or physical games such as EA Active or Just Dance on the Wii or just use resistance bands together.
Although they have gym frequently at school, it sounds like it's not enough exercise to benefit them much physically. There aren't any team type sports like there was when I was a kid (too scared someone might get hit by a ball or something. They even have a rock climbing wall that no one is allowed to use for liability reasons).
They often walk home after school, which is about a kilometer from the bus stop. I know they don't play outside enough but they usually do in the summer.
It's a struggle. I struggle with being active personally because I am so heavy. It is not something you can do overnight if you're not used to it, adults and children. It's best to develop habits you can stick with and build on those IMO.
Fitness Minutes: (228,193)
2,243 5/16/14 10:55 A
My daughters are always active & on-the-go...and have regular PE class at school too. They prefer to be outside running around rather than be couch potatoes--so I don't worry about their exercise habits.
Daily exercise is my ME TIME--it's the one thing I do everyday that's JUST FOR ME! That's hard to pull off when you're a busy full-time wife & mother....everyone ends up coming first, and mom comes last. So I cherish my workouts--and I don't share them with anyone. :)
Fitness Minutes: (1,749)
115 5/12/14 1:48 P
Thanks! He's enjoying it. I'm hoping he will want to do an actual 5K with me like your daughter, Firefly. Neither of us like to run, so we may just switch the walk/run to walk for now so it's enjoyable.
Fitness Minutes: (104,136)
5/12/14 12:26 P
It's never too late Imdadoggie, It sounds to me as if you are working to get healthier and though you can't undo all the damage, you can certainly improve your blood pressure, stress on your joints and help the diabetes. Your mom did the best she knew how and she must be so happy that you are on the right track now.
Please know that there is lots of support here!
Fitness Minutes: (8,314)
108 5/12/14 8:32 A
My daughter is almost 12 and she has done 2 5K's and a 4 mile run/walk with me. we are doing another 5K next Saturday. my daughter is a couch potato too, she would rather lay around watching tv or youtoube all day but she love the races and is willing to train for them. i think getting a medal at the end really motivates her. there is a program at her school called up and running and they have kids in a very similar program to couch to 5K so I think your son and you will probably benefit from it together...
5/12/14 3:00 A
During the summer, my youngest daughter is allowed a little more TV time (none allowed on school nights except for the weather and Jeopardy), and she loves to watch movies. Two rules have been applied -- no snacking, and get up and move during the songs. Most of her movies have tons of songs, so she puts on her jazz shoes and moves. With the non-musicals, she has to watched the credits in its entirety, and dance while doing so. Makes for a great rainy day activity.
Fitness Minutes: (9,564)
153 5/11/14 11:20 P
My 10 year old son loves Zumba! I have stopped since I had knee surgery but I want to get back into it.
i think that's an excellent idea, my 6 yr old walks with me every day, 2 miles, plays hockey,does karate and plays soccer. He is by nature very athletic, sometimes he inspires me.Kids need to see parents exercise and enjoying it. We hike and swim, sled and skate. NO matter the season we are active, and I am over 250 lbs.
5/10/14 4:14 A
My daughter got her 25 miles in on her kid's marathon (TKM), and will do the last 1.2 miles on the last day of school. Wow.
I agree about good eating habits and exercise in kids. As a kid in Connecticut our family would go up to the mountains and pick apples or just hike. When we moved to California, we went to the beach as much as possible. All the girls took dance lessons (mainly ballet), and the boys were in Little League.
A friend of mine's son was raised the same way. When it came to his first birthday, a cake was made for him and when asked if he wanted a piece of cake, he he protested and pointed at the rice cakes. That was a "cake". The first time my youngest daughter tasted ice cream she spit it out.
I really believe what you put in is what you get out.
Fitness Minutes: (555)
5/9/14 6:43 A
I highly recommend the Zombies Run! app for a C25K trainer. It's the only thing that keeps me from getting bored. It makes running into a story/game which I bet a 12 year old boy would enjoy.
5/7/14 11:50 A
My daughter just discovered that zumba is fun. It was the move "crazy dance" that caught her eye and she said, Can I crazy dance too?
5/7/14 11:08 A
I don't have kids, but sometimes I see my students at the gym. My youngest kids (grade 1) will sometimes run or walk on the track with me while their parents are taking a break!
Fitness Minutes: (7,130)
722 5/5/14 3:32 P
When I have children I want them to learn to love exercise (and healthy eating) from a young age. Obviously this wouldn't mean putting a three year old on a treadmill, or making them track calories. I would encourage outdoor play time, and take them to the park, and as they grow up evolve that into more active family activities, like hiking, or rock climbing. Fun stuff so they don't get bored, plus it'd be great for family bonding. As they get older I would start explaining more of the benefits of being active. I would tell a young kid it's to get big and strong, an older one that it helps them live longer, and be happier, and keep adding knowledge and different exercises so they can grow up with good habits.
I totally believe in kids should join the exercise. It's more fun and you can laugh while working out. I take my kids for a mile walk everyday. They either scooter or bicycle. They keep me company with their stories of what they learned on television, school, or just being with their friends. Plus it gives them an opportunity to get their energy out.
Fitness Minutes: (507)
33 5/5/14 2:40 A
I totally agree children should be active and participate in our exercise programs. My son who is 9 is my "personal trainer' and he is good at it. He designs conditioning workouts for us at night on our jogs. He is my biggest fan and biggest supporter. He does strength training with me even after having PE and baseball practice earlier in the day. He's trying hard to eat better which is pretty hard for a guy who hates vegetables. lol His 5 year old sister is my performer. She loves to dance and do gymnastics all over my furniture. They love to ride their bikes to school while I walk. They are both my Godsends and blessings. My life is certainly richer for them.
Fitness Minutes: (11,767)
5/2/14 2:24 P
I can not voice my opinion enough on this subject....I was that same child at 10 11 12 13,etc. I was out of activity due to surgery on my foot which led to the whole couch potato thing, then when I got back out I broke my foot and again back to the whole cp thing. My mom tried to encourage me to go get active and to eat less but I did not listen, in fact I got my attitude because I felt like she was picking on me. I kept being lazy and would gain more and more by 9th grade I got a little more active so it was not as bad but the unhealthy eating had begun. This lifestyle only continues over time until you become an adult and you never stop. YOU ARE THE PARENT and must love your child enough to push them, it does not have to be a 5k in fact I think that is too much, but tae kwon do and treadmill and riding a bike with them is a great way to just get them active. You can lose so much weight just by walking and riding a bike. Please don't wait it will be a lifelong issue. My mom feels like she did not do enough and although I got upset I wish she had pushed me. I ruined my looks and wasted a lot of time trying to fix my weight. I am diabetic, obese and have high blood pressure. All of this could have been prevented.
5/2/14 3:11 A
My daughter's elementary school started a program last year called the "Kid's Marathon". They actually run or walk a marathon. How it works is they start in April (this year it was April 7th) and they have until May 16th to run/walk 25 miles at home. They can count their school PE when they have running time. The last 1.2 miles is done at school. When they finish, they get a picnic lunch, a T-shirt and an Olympic "gold" medal (it's actually wood). Last year they had about 200 participants which included family members. This year it is over 500, which is amazing as there are about 425 students at the school. For every five miles they complete (parents sign off on it), they get a different color rubber bracelet. So far, my daughter has done 20 miles. Some of the kids are already done. I think this is a great activity, especially as we lose physical education in schools.
5/1/14 11:34 A
I agree with the comment about getting a physical first. If he has had a physical in the past year, schedule an appointment just to talk about adding exercises, eating right, and ask whether your pediatrician thinks weight training is a good idea. Most likely, your child will not be lifting 500# barbells, however see if the pediatrician has any restrictions in that department. A little weight is good for their bones, just don't overdo it. The pediatrician I worked with as a medical assistant would tell his patients a limit on how many times per week they could strength train, as well as a limit on pounds. Of course, he also had recommendations on adding activity for anyone who is a couch potato so not to hurt themselves in any way.
Fitness Minutes: (2,372)
5/1/14 1:54 A
All three of my kids are encouraging me to make my spark tracker light up. We have been walking to the bus stop morning/afternoon, so that is an easy three miles for me plus we go for an evening walk at least three times a week.
Fitness Minutes: (1,207)
1,172 5/1/14 12:45 A
So some kids may be a bit old for the playground but swing sets get one moving, as do pushing and running and jumping on merry-go-rounds, hanging from the monkey bars, and climbing up the bigger slides. Is there a swimming pool you can go to once or twice a week? Bicycling is great - also bowling, Wii games, hiking or fast paced walking. Martial arts or dance classes are options. Mowing the lawn, sweeping the driveway, washing the car by hand, mopping the floor, vacuuming the house, scrubbing tiles in the bathroom & washing windows etc not glamorous but good old chores do burn calories. And I see no reason on earth that kids shouldn't join in doing them. In warm weather do you hang your laundry? All the bending over is going to tighten some muscles up.
PS to the originator of this topic, if you live near a rural area, see if the local farmers need someone to feed the animals, ride & groom the horses, help with baling hay or shoveling muck. Not too many fat farmers - mostly skinny kids in the olden days as we were worked by our parents since the child labor laws didn't then & don't now apply - we all turned out the better for it. I think a city slicker job has helped contribute to my weight gain - beyond just the types of food now available.
4/30/14 3:11 P
Great way to keep the family involved and children loves exercising with parents.
My son and I will pick a place with a nice view that has a trail or by a beach or just find a place in town to walk most nights. We play frisbee and it is fun. As long as you are doing something active each day you will have more energy and have fun too
You could absolutely get him on a C25K program and have him to do a color run or a mud run once he is finished. You could even do a glow run. These are super fun 5ks that aren't for the serious runners. My 2 year old loves to go with me on my short runs (2-3 miles). He gets to ride in his jogging stroller while I work my tail off! :) Either way I encourage him to do what we are doing. How else is he going to pick up those habits. :)
Fitness Minutes: (53,346)
4/29/14 10:20 A
that's great. They always full of energy.
Fitness Minutes: (405)
4/29/14 8:23 A
i LOVED martial arts at his age! Plus it teaches discipline. And like most kids I wouldn't have wanted to exercise just for the sake of exercise but a martial arts class fits in exercise and makes it seem purposeful (get stronger, perform better, etc).
My kids enjoy being my "cheering section." I started them out slowly at first by letting them sit on the couch and cheer me on while I worked out: Zumba, EA Sports, whatever they wanted to cheer me on with. Then they would slowly start asking to join in. Next thing I knew they were dancing with me. :)
We have gotten the kids involved with us. The grumbled at first - but now it's fun for them too
4/27/14 10:11 P
I think it's important that regardless of what you choose to do that it be that, a choice and that you (or hubby) be involved not just directing. Boys self esteem as well as their bodies definetly benefit from weight training. If he's excited by the idea then maybe invest a couple hundred dollars in a total gym or bench and weight set (these can often be found on craigslist or thriftstores cheap) and then set some time to train together. In general just being active together as a family is the best way to develop the desire for more. My son and I hike a lot, explore woods and have picnics. My brother takes his son (10) to a empty ball field and they 'practice' chase each other round the bases and us tball stand to hit and nephew try's to catch. He loves it.
4/27/14 9:18 P
I agree with the idea that you have to include both kids. Just because one might be a little heavier doesn't mean the other doesn't need exercise. baseball doesn't have a lot of cardio in longer bursts, so I would go on family walks or bike rides. My daughter and I go most evenings. Sometimes I don't really want to, but after awhile she loves it and would be disappointed if I said no.
I think it's really important for kids to find sports they love. Encourage him with basketball or other sport that is different from baseball. Basketball, soccer, track and field, etc.
We spend a lot of time hiking. There is something about being on your feet for long hours and observing nature that does us good mentally and physically.
Fitness Minutes: (2,372)
4/27/14 1:15 P
We are living in Europe and have the most beautiful walking, jogging and biking paths right in our neighborhood. We all as a family go out every evening for a walk and we walk to the bus stop twice a day for the school bus. Every step counts
Fitness Minutes: (11,005)
4/27/14 12:24 P
have my two grandsons ever other weekend and I am always trying to get the outside. they love just watching movies or playing games on the x box. I got them a volley ball, and badminton sets so we can play and move. they already pitch and play baseball with my grandson who lives across the street. he is so active and I can get them once in a while to go ride their bike or play ball.( NO SITTING AROUND HERE) lol.
Fitness Minutes: (39,981)
2,322 4/26/14 6:43 P
I just want to thank the person who suggested martial arts. I've been struggling to find an activity my daughter would be interested in. She has said no to everything. She's a total couch potato but is skinny as a rail. I know she needs to exercise for health and she gets tired and complainy just from walking a short distance. So I read the post and turned and asked her what she thought about "karate" and she emphatically said yes! Not sure why I didn't think of this earlier since we have a place really close to our house! She is 11, btw. perfect age for it.
4/26/14 11:56 A
"Some of you may have heard that strength training can be detrimental to bone development in children, but this has never been demonstrated. Again, contrary to popular opinion, strength training has been shown to enhance bone development in kids."
Fitness Minutes: (14,595)
4/26/14 11:41 A
My kids and I ride bikes together. It's pretty good exercise. If you're going to ride more than a couple miles, though, you have to make sure he has a bike that fits him. Most kids I see are riding bikes that are too small, which is hard on the knees.
We also hula hoop (mine are girls, I don't know if boys would hula hoop) and we use stability balls and hand weights. My 12 year old has been using the hand weights a couple times a week while she dances to music in the living room, and she's got visible muscle in her arms that she didn't have a month ago.
Whatever exercise you decide on, include your other child too. That will keep the heavier one from feeling like he's being singled out, and the other one from feeling like he's being left out. Exercise is important your whole life, not just when you're a little overweight.
4/25/14 10:43 P
My son is in a bit of a similar position. We've been brainstorming ways to make sure he stays healthy. His body has been changing rapidly lately and he's filling out (man-ing up) right now. Not sure how much is part of growing, or getting fat, but he definitely could benefit from good excercise. He'd not overly coordinated, so we just find things he CAN do well. Biking, swimming in the summer, we go to the school and either walk the track, shoot hoops, or mess around on the playground. The whole family has been doing it together and it's been good for all of us. Sometimes, if I'm desperate, we just turn on some crazy tunes and dance for a while. I've tried DVD's but they don't go over very well, too fast paced for kids to coordinate to.
Fitness Minutes: (1,749)
115 4/25/14 4:22 P
Thanks for everything! I'm not so concerned about the weight training, but the DH thinks it would help, and my son, of course, thinks it will make him immediately buff. Will definitely ask doc about that. He has a physical coming up next month. His diet is good. I've always made sure of that. Eats the same as his insanely skinny brother. More veggies if anything. Oh, he will sneak snacks if the opportunity arises tho:) Just figured that if there was something we could do together, then that would help both of us. Mostly cause it needs to happen and I would feel like a total hypocrite if it were an order. We live "in the sticks" so to speak and our "town" is modeled after Mayberry. Not much along the lines of classes.
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
4/25/14 4:00 P
Be sure to ask the pediatrician about strength training (either when you go or in a call). Your son's bones aren't done growing yet and using heavy weights might have an adverse affect.
Fitness Minutes: (15,095)
9,707 4/25/14 3:22 P
First and foremost, hit the pediatrician's office for a physical. Adding activity is good, but he needs to check in with the doc first. That way, you know more of what you're dealing with, and what his goals should be. Your doc can tell you if it's okay for him to join you.
You should also be managing food, too; he didn't get husky from being lazy (though that didn't help) he got husky from eating too much for his activity level! You don't have to start everything all at once, but diet needs to be a part of his healthy transformation. Start with the government food plate: www.choosemyplate.gov and go from there; your pediatrician can give additional guidance.
Fitness Minutes: (64,745)
748 4/25/14 2:44 P
I definitely think some weight training would be good for him (maybe body weight like pushups, plank, lunges, etc. along with some dumbbells)...a couple of times a week. If he is active with baseball, maybe find another form of cardio that would compliment the sport. The couch to 5K program could do it, but I don't know how it would work with a 12 year old. He may start with it and then get bored. There are other programs out there that can get you running a mile after x amount of weeks and how to run for a solid 30 minutes, etc. Those may work too. If you guys have a bike, you could all ride your bikes together as a way to cross train.
This is just a thought, but if there is a place in town that has some sort of martial arts (Karate, Taekwondo) that would be beneficial for him. My brother was about that age when he got into Taekwondo and he stuck with it through high school, getting up to a second degree black belt. He could do that one or two days a week.
On days when he didn't have a martial arts class or baseball practice, he could ride his bike, or go for a walk (or run), or just get outside and move. If he has Wii, you could get some of those games that get you up and moving and you could do a family night where you guys compete against each other (I don't know the names but it would be better than sitting on the couch).
Fitness Minutes: (1,749)
115 4/25/14 2:28 P
I am trying to find inspiration to work out, or at least start walking again. I have a 12 year old son, who is awesome, but he has turned laziness into a profession. Bonafide couch potato to a fault. He is a little overweight (husky). He is playing baseball, and my husband believes he could benefit by adopting an excercise routine for energy and strength. My son seems excited to do this, but, like me, he will fall off the wagon back onto the couch. Do you think it's a wise idea to have him start a couch to 5K program with me along with some weight training?
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