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 evil queen or king!
According To The National Association For Sports And Physical Education:
• School aged kids should avoid more than two hours of inactivity.
• They should engage in extracurricular physical activity for a total of 1 hour each day and that should be broken up into some form of physical activity for 15 minutes or more several times throughout the day.
Regular physical activity is dessential in a time where child obesity rates are at epidemic levels and many kids are overweight. In fact, the percentage of obese kids age 6–11 years old is 18%, and adolescents aged 12–19 years is nearly 21%. Kids are getting Type 2 diabetes at staggering rates and some are dying before the age of 18 due to obesity related conditions. A lot of this problem is attributed to the lack of regular movement, and way too much junk food in our kid’s diets.
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 always begin at home, and when parents take the time to implement sound strategies, like, those listed below they ensure a much healthier present and future for their kids.
At Home Fitness
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 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.
• After dinner walks. Encourage your kids to take a walk with you 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.
• 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.
• Household chores. Provide your children with a list of chores that they need to do everyday. 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.
• 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 tennis or baseball are both good options.
• Allow your kids time to socialize. Give your kids time everyday to go out and play with their friends. Socializing is important for proper development and is guaranteed to get your kids moving and active.
• Set a good example! Children are followers, you need to lead by example. If daddy runs every day, chances are your son/daughter will want to run too. Go for a bike ride every afternoon and make sure your kids see how enthusiastic you are. It will get them involved and excited to be doing something just like you.
Extra Curricular Activities
Extracurricular activities are a great way to get your kids the recommended level of physical activity and without much effort from you. Consider enrolling them in an after school club or sport, such as, the ones listed below.
• Karate. Karate is a great option because it’s a full body workout, lasts at least an hour, improves their self esteem and hosts competitions.
• Gymnastics. Gymnastics is another sport that works the entire body and helps improve a child’s level of confidence.
• 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.
• 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 them on.
• Dance. Dancing is a sport that works the entire body and helps with memory, social skills and overall physical health.
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.
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 listen to what they’re telling you about their body and what they are interested in.