More now than ever, physical activity is important to raising healthy kids. Subsequently, it has become a financial burden for many of us — costing hundreds
of dollars per month, as we seek businesses to provide this much-needed exercise.

How much are you willing to pay to keep your child healthy?

Depending on the number of children you have, this figure may be staggering.
Registration fees and contracts are designed to keep us digging in our pockets to secure healthy lifestyles for our children, but as they grow, so do their interests. This makes it hard to commit to any one activity long term and leaves us with a large bill to pay.

Here are some things to consider when seeking out activities that can save you time and money:

Try it before you buy it. Extracurriculars can be expensive (especially if you have multiple children). By enrolling in trial classes, you can gauge your child’s interest level before you take the plunge. Groupon is a tremendous help in finding cheap or free trial classes.

Start with a cheaper option. There are plenty of CYO (church youth organization) groups, YMCA programs and local school district programs that tend to be cheaper than businesses or organized sports associations. Once you know your child has a real interest, then you can upgrade.

YouTube it. Even though you think you know what your child needs, try surfing YouTube for videos of lessons in progress. Your child will get a better idea of what to expect and can decide if it’s something they’re interested in. Be sure to watch a lesson in progress and not a performance so that your child understands what the “small steps” look like. No one starts off as a prima ballerina, and it’s important for them to understand that upfront.

Find a friend. Having a friend in the same class helps your child to feel more comfortable in trying a new activity. If they see a familiar face or friend who’s doing it, they’re more likely to stick with it.

Staying healthy doesn’t need to bankrupt your family. I encourage you to explore all of your options before becoming victim to a sales pitch. Joining play groups, playing outside with the neighborhood kids or heading to the park with a soccer ball are other free ways to get your kids active (and you, too!)

Childhood Obesity Facts. (2015, August 27). Retrieved December 26, 2016, from www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/facts.html

By Pamela Miller