Children, just like adults, need to be physically active to stay healthy. However, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, only 50 percent of boys and less than 34 percent of girls ages 12 to 15 are adequately fit. Furthermore, unfit children are at risk for chronic and cardiovascular diseases, along with psychological disorders.
According to research, 80 percent of overweight children end up becoming obese adults. Unfortunately, being obese puts you at a risk for many cancers, which include endometrial, breast, and colon cancers. Today’s children are spending far too much time behind electronic, phones, computers, and television screens.
Fortunately, it is possible to reverse the trend. If you encourage your own children to exercise regularly, you will help them to not only maintain a healthy weight but also lead a healthy lifestyle that will help keep diseases such as cancer at bay later in life.
Children below age 6 need to enjoy natural physical activity every day such as skipping, jumping, and running. Children between ages 6 and 17 need to exercise at an intensity that’s high enough to raise their heart rate for at least 1 hour each day, 5 days a week.
Here are 10 tips to help you get your children to move more and sit less:
1) Be a Role Model
Your children watch and mimic your habits, both bad and good. If your children see that you are being physically active and having fun, they will be more likely to become active and stay active throughout their lives.
2) Use Exercise as Transportation
Walk your children to school, bike to visit your friends, or roller skate to the park. You can also take stairs rather than using the elevator and park at the far end of parking lots.
3) Involve the Entire Family
Invite everybody to participate in activities. It can be one of the most effective ways to change your child’s exercise habits. You can volunteer to coach a soccer team and encourage your children to play, sign-up for a martial arts class as a family, join a swimming, running, or outdoor adventure club, or take a flying disk or ball when your family goes to the beach or park.
4) Make Activity Social
Invite your children’s friends to join the activity. The number one reason why people stick with exercise is that they are accountable and engaged. They will also probably have more fun. Find kids football in Glasgow.
5) Focus on Fun
Children love having fun, so they are more likely to keep working out if they are doing an activity they find enjoyable. Turn on the music and have a dance party, or pack in plenty of walking during trips to the park, zoo, or miniature golf course.
6) Let Competition Motivate You
Make it a contest between you and the children to see who is capable of running faster, or doing more jumping jacks or push-ups. Give the winner a prize and use technology such as a pedometer for tracking your progress and results.
7) Limit Computer and TV Time
Offer children active options instead, such as joining an after-school program, a local recreation center, or taking lessons in a sport that they love. When watching TV together with your family, get everybody moving during commercial breaks – use a jump rope or a hula hoop or do jumping jacks.
8) Give Gifts That Promote Physical Activity
Ice skates, bicycles, rollerblades, soccer gear such as shin guards or balls, and even active-play video games make excellent gifts that promote physical activity. Activity-tracking technologies and apps are also fun options for children.
9) Plan Vacations with New Ways of Exercising
Plan your family vacation around an activity or two. Think kayaking, off-road cycling, hiking, snorkeling, or camping. You will get to explore new places and teach your children to appreciate nature. The activities you try while on vacation might even end up being the hobbies enjoyed most by your family for years to come.
10) Involve Children in Household Activities
The vast majority of household chores, such as washing the car or dog, or even mowing the lawn, are all great opportunities for sneaking in a bit of physical activity.