Gone are the days in which by virtue of being a child, you were all active, up and running all around. Today’s children are increasingly becoming inactive. With the increase in the use of technology in our homes, more and more children would rather stay indoors and play video games rather than going outdoors to rise bicycles with friends. Today, only a third of the children below the age of 12 are physically active. Moreover, only 50% of the kids’ time is spent on practicing sports, playing physical games and physical education.
In the recent days, children and teens spend more than 7 hours per day on average using TVs, computers, phones, and other electronic devices for entertainment. This has resulted in unhealthy kids, with about 1 out of 3 children is either overweight or obese in the United States. According to research, the Overweight teens have a higher chance, about 70%, of becoming overweight or obese adults. Therefore, it is the role of the parent to take up the role of helping the kids become more active by themselves being more active parents. Nothing motivates children more than parents who walk the talk.
Find a fun activity.
Begin by introducing at least one new family activity. help your child find a sport that they enjoy. The more she enjoys the activity, the more likely she will continue it.
It is a great way to spend time together. The chosen activity should be developmentally appropriate for instance, a 7- or 8-year-old child is not ready for weight lifting or a 3-mile run, but soccer, bicycle riding, and swimming are all appropriate activities.
Talk with your child’s doctor or family doctor.
with the help of the doctor, you can help your child understand the importance of being physically active. You can even suggest a sport or physical activity that you think will be interesting for your child.
Plan ahead always.
Ensure that your child has an appropriate place and time for exercise and play.Provide a safe environment: Ensure that your child has a convenient site and is well equipped for the selected sporting activity. Ensure that the child is as comfortable as possible.
Young children especially need easy access to balls, jump ropes, and other active toys.Be a role model. Children who regularly see their parents enjoying sports and physical activity are more likely to do so themselves. Children are likely to be more into the activity of the parents also take part and enjoy it.
Limit screen time.
Limit their TV watching time and computer use especially during the day. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, no more than one to two hours should be spent on the screen including computers, videos games, TV and movies per day. Free time, especially during the day should be spent on exercise.
Make time for exercise.
Avoid over-scheduling your kids with music lessons, homework, and other indoor activities that they do not find time for physical exercise.Don’t be afraid of the dirt. Accept that by being active outside the kids might get dirty, do not scold them, for being dirty.
If approached in a caring way, kids may love to lend a helping hand in activities such as gardening and weeding.Spend time with a family outdoors: Make time for activities such as picnics as a whole family wash the car together. This will not only make you active but will also help you bind.
Once you start your physical activities to the extent of straining your kids physically. The physical activity should not hurt or be too rigorous. The main aim is fun and health.
Always remember to couple up the exercise with a healthy and balanced diet. This is equally important as being physically active. Remember it is never too late to start.
Have you tried to encourage your kids to be more physically active? Are you your child’s role model?