Tips For Keeping Your Kids Active From A South Florida Fitness Professional

February 16, 2013 8:00 AM

A young boy swings on a piece of excercise equipment in Brockwell park on December 22, 2011 in London, England. Britain continues to experience a milder than average Winter with temperatures expected to reach 57F/14C in places on Christmas Day. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

While South Florida may not see temperatures in the negatives, it can get chilly on some days during winter. When you pair that with an abundance of video and computer games on the market, it can become very tempting for kids to stay indoors glued to the TV or computer. It can also lead to kids becoming lethargic and out of shape. One of the biggest challenges for parents is to make physical activity fun and interesting. Roger P. Franklin, a NCSF certified personal trainer and substitute physical education teacher, offers some fantastic tips on getting kids away from the electronics and into some physical activities that are equally fun.

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Tip #1:  Make outdoor activities a game
Tropical Park
7900 S.W. 40th St.
Miami, FL 33155
(305) 226-8316

It’s no secret that kids love a challenge. Turn a relay race, a game of football or even skipping rocks into a competition and they’re all in. Head to a local park with the kids and get a game started. The competitive spirit of the activity will make it both fun and effective. Kids can challenge their parents, siblings or friends to a game of tennis, basketball, running or even riding a bike. Their push to be the winner will cause them to use all their energy and perform at optimum levels, giving their body a great workout in the process.

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(credit: David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

Tip #2: Do cardio workouts to music
Betty T. Ferguson Sport Complex
3000 N.W. 199th St.
Miami Gardens, FL 33056
(305) 622-8080

Of all the facets of exercise, cardio is the most important because it elevates your heart rate, causing your metabolism to speed up. Have your kids engage in cardio exercise for at least 30 minutes. Break out the portable stereo or an MP3 player and watch your kids get fit to the beat of the music. What’s great is that you can do this indoors or outdoors; you and your kids can break a sweat under clear skies or exercise indoors on rainy days. Chances are, they’ll be so motivated by their favorite songs, that they’ll pass that 30-minute minimum easily.

Related: Best Activities For Kids To Work Up A Sweat In Miami

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Tip #3: Create a workout plan/log with your kids
Fitwize 4 Kids
9705 W. Sample Road
Coral Springs, FL 33065
(954) 323-2216

It’s important for kids to understand the importance of staying active. A workout plan or log helps to keep them on track with exercising. They can jot down when they exercised and for how long. A workout plan can guide them into doing a variety of activities to ensure a well-rounded fitness experience. It can also serve as a guide in setting personal fitness goals and provide your child with a sense of accomplishment when they’re successful at it. There are several kid-friendly and kid-focused gymnasiums that’ll offer a great space for kids to get their workouts on.

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(credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Tip #4: Get your kids into extreme sports
Coral Cliffs Indoor Rock Climbing Gym
3400 S.W. 29th Terrace
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312
(954) 321-9898

Because kids can lose interest quickly, keeping things new and fresh is important. Extreme sports are so popular because they are out of the ordinary – that element alone intrigues many to give them a try. Take your kids to an indoor rock climbing gym or a park with extreme water sports activities for an afternoon of fun and fitness. Extreme sports will be good in building competitiveness, piquing interest in a good challenge and providing a new and fun experience for them.

Related: Best Extreme Sports And Rec Spots In Miami

For nearly 20 years, Shawanda James has been actively involved in creative writing in Miami, Florida. In addition to her work as a freelance writer, she is actively seeking publication for her debut novel and collection of poetry. Her work can be found at

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