But it's vitally important to buy gifts that encourage your kids to get outside and be active. For their own fitness and well-being, you'll need to think outside the Xbox. Here are some gift ideas that can help you accomplish it:
There's no denying the bond between a bike and a child, as well as the many fitness benefits that come with it. A bike represents both freedom and fresh air, and learning how to ride a bike is a rite of passage for every child. Moreover, it's an activity they'll never outgrow.
How will they benefit from cycling?
- It burns calories
- It strengthens the heart and lungs
- It develops strength and balance
- It's an outdoor activity the entire family can enjoy together.
2. Jump Rope
Another traditional favorite, a jump rope can reap many physical benefits for your child, including being a heart-activity encouraged by the American Heart Association. It's simple and fun, and can be enjoyed alone or with others. And with everything from standard rope skipping to side jumping and alternate straddling jumps, your child won't get bored with it.
Let's face it, there are probably times when you say "It's good for you" to your child and he or she automatically resists the idea. Chances are, however, they won't feel that way about a trampoline. Children will naturally take to a trampoline — no matter how athletic they may be — and they'll end up spending hours on it without realizing that it's “good for them.” It's a form of exercise that builds stamina while improving coordination, balance, flexibility and agility.
This is another fun gift idea that can provide healthy exercise for your child without them even realizing it. The act of sledding itself, while tremendously fun, might not provide much exercise on its own, but trudging back to the top of the hill after each run certainly will. In fact, your child's larger muscles will get more use as they walk through snow.
5. Hop Ball
Fun for adults, too, a hop ball will get your child outside and active. It promotes coordination, balance, circulation and cardio fitness.
Personal trainer Ralph Roberts in Amarillo wishes you a merry Christmas and a healthy new year. Kick off the new year the healthy way: Sign up for a group training class Ralph is giving in January.