Got kids? Then you’re heard that you need to keep your kids active. Health issues that were virtually unknown among children are now making headlines and causing concerns among health experts.
There are some easy solutions that will be fun for everybody.
With electronics quickly becoming a child’s activity of choice, it can be difficult to encourage your kid(s) to get up and go outside for the afternoon, but, you need to push them. There are many ways to get your children active and living a healthy lifestyle without feeling like the Meanie of the Month! (and you shouldn’t, looking after your children’s health is an important facet of being a parent)
According To The National Association
For Sports And Physical Education:
A lack of regular physical activity is seriously detrimental in a time where:
A lot of this problem is attributed to the lack of regular movement, and way too much junk food in our kid’s diets. In other words, too little exercise and too much sitting combined with a poor diet.
Now, this does not mean that your child needs to be involved in 5 different sports every single day. They just need to be active more than they are sitting down to watch TV, play video games or chat with friends online.
Sound fitness practices for children always begin at home. When parents (grandparents can help out, too) take the time to implement sound strategies, like, those listed below they ensure a much healthier present and future for their kids.
If your child is not interested in sports or
group activities, there are a few at home physical activities you can engage
your child in. Also, keep in mind that kids model their parent’s behavior and
really they just want to spend time with you.
The best ( and easiest) way to get kids active is by making it a family affair, where everyone is involved, and where it is not portrayed as a chore, but, as something that is fun to do.
1. After dinner walks. Grab the whole family for a walk around the block after dinner each night. Bring the dog for some added excitement or make it a parent daughter/son walk where everyone walks together and spends some quality time.
2. Nature hunts. Another fun way to encourage fitness is to create nature hunts where you will go out to look for specific things in nature. A list can be made each week of things that need to be found and cool prizes that are awarded the winners.
Depending on the age of the kids, this can also be a great way to encourage child development, for example, for younger kids the list might include black rocks or purple leaves, and the search can yield both positive fitness and cognitive results.
3. Household chores. Provide your children with a list of chores that they need to do every day. Simple tasks such as vacuuming, picking up the family room, picking up all their toys, etc. are perfect for those short 15 minute bursts of activity.
Include washing the car, raking leaves, and washing windows to put those bigger muscles in action. Make sure, of course, that all activities are age appropriate though you’ll often find the younger ones are very enthusiastic.
4. Play with your kids. Make time every day to play games with your kids. Depending on their age, the activities may vary, but, for young children playing hide and seek or tag in the yard is a good choice. For older children playing badminton in the backyard (Dollar stores often have cheap sets), tennis or baseball at the park, or even soccer in either place are all good options.
5. Allow your kids time to socialize. Give your kids time every day to go out and play with their friends. Socializing is important for proper development and is guaranteed to get your kids moving and active.
6. Set a good example! Not only are children followers, but they are new to this life and everything you do teaches them how to live. You need to lead by example. If daddy runs every day, chances are your son/daughter will want to run too. If gardening is an important part of family life, it will be for them, too. If you have a chore list and children see adults taking care of the home and yard plus themselves, then those kids learn valuable life skills.
Go for a bike ride every afternoon, or a few times a week, and make sure your kids see how enthusiastic you are. It will get them involved and excited to be doing something just like you.
is a great option because it’s a full body workout, lasts at least an hour,
improves their self-esteem and hosts competitions.
Gymnastics is another sport that works the entire body and helps
improve a child’s level of confidence.
3. Swimming. Swimming,
regardless of whether or not it is on a team, is one of the top-rated workouts
for children. The sport is easy on the joints, but, still works the entire
body. Swim teams also have weekly competitions that are great for confidence
building and social growth.
4. Baseball. Baseball
combines cardiovascular exercise with strength training and is a highly social
sport. Your child will learn social skills, such as, being a team player and
they will be excited to step up to the plate knowing their teammates are cheering
5. Dance. Dancing is a sport that works the entire body and helps with memory, social skills and overall physical health.
One extra point to keep in mind: Keep the activity and the level of activity varied. Include lots of aerobic activity of varied intensity. Brisk walking would be a moderate level; running (playing tag) would be intense level. Include muscle strengthening activities, like gymnastics (jungle gym) or push-ups (for older adolescents), and don’t forget things like rope skipping that builds strong bones.
Getting your children to live a healthier lifestyle and become more active is not all that hard to do. It just takes a leader, an encourager, and a listener.
Typically, kids will not ever do what is good for them, you as the parent must keep them on the right track, and set rules that will facilitate their health and wellness. But if you think of small children, they are usually a bundle of constant moving energy that comes in fits and starts all day. It seems they have an innate knowledge of what’s healthy!
You need to make sure your children see you being active, encourage them to get involved in a sport or go out with their friends, and don’t forget to listen to what they’re telling you about their body and what they are interested in.
The bond you develop will bring joy to your life.
When you keep your kids active and see them healthy, happy, and fit?
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