5 ways to stay active with your kids

According to Chris Judd, when it comes to exercising as a family, you actually can please everybody. Here’s how he does it.

Chris Judd

Chris Judd

Chris Judd is a former AFL footballer and twice winner of the Brownlow Medal.

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Here’s what I know for sure: when it comes to exercising as a family, it’s not necessarily what you do together, but where you go together, that counts.

I have four very different kids. Finding an activity that everyone wants to do at the same time is almost impossible, especially when you factor in their age gaps and varying interests.

In my experience, the best thing to do is stop focusing on single activities and start taking them to the places they love – places they can actually cut loose and have fun without even realising they’re exercising.

Here are some examples.

Spend a day at the beach

Once your kids can swim and you know they’re safe, this is a great option for a day of staying active. We love mucking around at the beach – especially body boarding and playing around in the sand. Recently, a mate of mine told me that he and his kid ran 30 kilometres in one day just by kicking a ball and swimming in the surf. It’s amazing how much exercise you can do without even thinking about it.

Take a trip to the snow

This might not be for everyone, but it’s certainly a great way to get outside when it’s cold. We usually drive up to the snow a couple of times a year and the kids love it. They’re a bit too young to be skiing and snowboarding right now, but they enjoy getting on a sled and racing down the mountain. All it takes is a couple of times up and down and they’re knackered.

Make your #onechange

Get an hour of quality outdoor time in with your kids this weekend.

Head out bush on your bike

One of the biggest challenges I face as a working parent is balancing my time between the kids and my emails. Getting out into nature is a great way for me to unplug and get them away from their screens. It doesn’t have to be on a bike, either. Just taking a long walk or heading out for a picnic is a great way to boost your heart rate and clear your head for a better frame of mind.

Make the most of the city

In Australia, we’re pretty lucky when it comes to our major cities. They all have heaps of parks and outdoor spaces, and there are plenty of family-friendly gyms, sports clubs and swimming pools. Even a trip to the museum can be a great way to exercise together. Some have dedicated kids’ play zones that are perfect for getting wild and burning off some energy.

If all else fails, venture out into your own backyard

In my opinion, nothing beats a good game of garden footy. It’s free, it’s easy and everyone can get involved. My kids, in particular, love pretending to be coach – mainly because they get to run around and yell at me – but it definitely fills an afternoon and everyone has fun. Even a game of tag or hide and seek can be good cardio. You just need to go wherever your imagination takes you.

Chris Judd

Former Australian Rules footballer Chris Judd is familiar with how to get your heart rate up and push yourself physically. Twice winner of the prestigious Brownlow Medal, Chris is an honoured sportsman and father to four children, Oscar, Billie, Tom and Darcy. The information in this article is general information only and is not intended as medical, health, nutritional or other advice. You should obtain professional advice from a medical or health practitioner in relation to your own personal circumstances.

The information in this article is general information only and is not intended as financial, medical, health, nutritional, tax or other advice. It does not take into account any individual’s personal situation or needs. You should consider obtaining professional advice from a financial adviser and/or tax specialist, or medical or health practitioner, in relation to your own circumstances and before acting on this information.

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