father and son playing ball

Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the US, and Utah is no exception. Utahns are some of the fittest people in the US, but the younger generations are breaking the pattern. More kids are turning to their computers, consoles, or smartphones instead of going out to play. Fitness is important, and there are several ways to get your kids active in your home.

Weight Training and Cardio

Buy a few weights, a kettlebell or two, an inclining bench, and maybe a treadmill. You can build a home gym for $1,000 to $2,000. Weight training will not stunt your children’s growth, but they’ll need a bit of supervision in their first few weeks to make sure they don’t injure themselves. Children as young as seven can start weight training as long as they have good balance and coordination. Prioritize technique and form to avoid injuries and go for more reps instead of heavier weights. Your kids can start with eight to 15 reps of a given exercise; only add weight once they can comfortably perform 15.

Weight training will give your kids a good foundation on balance and coordination. It will also strengthen their bones, preparing them for any sport they might want to play in school. You can also opt for body-weight training using pull-up bars and dip bars instead of the usual dumbbells and barbells. Of course, don’t forget to add a bit of cardio with treadmills, stationary bikes, or maybe just a jog around the block.

Family indoors

Play Some Hoops

Take playing hoops at home to the next level with a Utah-made backyard basketball court. A half-court (or a full one if you have space) will get your kids playing ball almost every day of the week. With a bit of training and dedication, your kids might get a chance to hit it big in school or maybe even play professionally. Building a regulation-sized half court can cost around $10,000, but the structure will last for decades and keep your kids in shape.

Swim Laps

One of the best exercises to lose weight (and maintain ideal weight) is swimming. You might think you don’t have space for a proper lap pool, but you can make do with a 10 ft x 20 ft space. An endless pool only requires that bit of space, relying on flowing water to keep a swimmer in place. It is a great place to learn swimming at any level. You can make swimming activities at home fun, but these are also great opportunities to help them learn the importance of proper form, hydrodynamics, and endurance. An endless pool costs around $20,000 to $25,000, so only get one if your kids are resolute on swimming.

The Pay-Off

The cost of obesity is alarming. According to a study by the Center for Social Dynamics and Policy, the lifetime economic cost of obesity stood at $100,000. Your investment in your kids’ health today is worth it, and you’ll be giving them a better quality of life.