In our previous article we mentioned that recent statistics have indicated that about 1 in 3 children in the United States of America are either overweight or obese, and this has been blamed on the fact that children are becoming less and less active. Case in point, children in America spend on average 7 hours every day either watching TV, on their computers, phones or other electronic devices. Further statistics indicate that less than 50 per cent of a child’s time will be spent in extracurricular activities such as sports or other physical activities that are likely to improve their health.
There is therefore an urgent need for parents to start encouraging their children to start taking part in physical activities to ensure they stay healthy.
Below we look at 5 ways to encourage your kids to be physically active.
Make it fun
It’s important for parents to identify fun activities that will encourage their kids to be active because if they enjoy it they will want to do it. These could be recreational cum sports activities that the kids enjoy such as swimming, skiing, and other sports activities especially those that the entire family can get involved in as part of family time.
Consult your child’s doctor
It’s important to have a conversation with your doctor and identify physical activities that may be of benefit to your kids. Because doctors have more experience with such matters, they may be better placed to offer good suggestions that will benefit your kids.
Ensure there is a safe environment
Physical activities have been known to result in injuries and this may discourage children to participate in them. It’s therefore important for parents to provide a safe environment where children can take part in such activities. This will include ensuring the kids have the right protective equipment that is both comfortable and appropriate for the activity.
Make their toys active
The moment parents start buying toys for their kids, they need to ensure that they provide toys that will keep the kids active. These will include toys such as jump ropes, balls, bicycles, and any other toy that can be considered an active toy.
Lead by example
It’s very important for parents to lead by example therefore they need to be very good role models for their children. If you are a physically active parent who regularly enjoys exercising, chances are high that your kids will take up after you. It may even be fun asking them to join you in your morning run.
As you encourage your kids to embrace physical activity, you must remember that it goes hand in hand with a proper diet therefore ensure you balance both. Nutritionist will let you know that the foundation for a healthy life and active life will always start with proper nutrition. Be sure to find solutions that are customized to suit the needs of your children.