One of the hardest parts of my job as a ski instructor is getting five 3-5 year olds ready to go skiing. First, everyone has to go to the bathroom. Next, everyone needs to put their clothes on, and everyone has a particular way that their gloves fit on their hands or how their parents suit them up. After that comes the walk. Oh, the dreaded walk. We have to get from inside the Schoolhouse, through the main lodge, and up to the beginner lift, which is about 300 feet uphill from the lodge. Luckily, there are some magic carpets to expedite the process, but it is still hard to keep those ducklings in line.
It is not impossible to bring your children along for your walk. Sure, you might not be able to go as fast as you usually do, but in the long run (or walk), you will build better habits for your children. They will learn about how to go on walks as a form of exercise and it could be a great family bonding experience. You are going to have to set aside more time for your walks. The shorter your kiddos are, the longer your walks are going to be. If that pace is too slow for you and you do not think you are getting enough exercise out of the one walk, you might want to add in a second walk or exercise into your day.
When you are walking with your kids, it is important for them to learn about safety. You should plan your route to be on safe terrain. There are many lessons to learn about walking safely. For example, if you are walking on a road that does not have any sidewalks, you should walk against the traffic, which is usually along the left side of the road. They should also learn traffic rules such as using the crosswalks to cross the road, looking both ways before crossing the road, and obeying the traffic lights. They should also be dressed in light colored clothing and if it is dark, they should have flashlights and/or reflective clothing.
If you do not have time to work in two walks and you still want to get in a good workout with your kids, think of other ways to transport them. You could bring a stroller that your kids could sit in if they got tired. They could also bring along a bicycle or a scooter to follow you around.
The biggest thing to remember is that you cannot force them to walk with you. Nagging will only make them more resistant to your efforts and the last thing you want is to have your kid be against exercising! There are a few ways to make your walks more interesting. You could do different routes, even if it is just your regular route walked backwards. You could also bring along the family pet, or invite other folks to join in on the fun! In the end, it should be a fun, active, family activity that your kids will want to do.
(Photo courtesy of Muriel M Sawicki)