Saturday morning rolls around, it’s a bright sunny day. Your kids wake up and come clomping into the kitchen. You hurry and get them breakfast; a bowl of their favorite sugary cereal. You tried going on a health kick a few months ago and it proved too hard so you gave up. Once your kids are done eating they hop of their chairs, ready to take on the day; and what do they do? They run into the family room and turn on the TV.
They spend the rest of the morning watching their favorite shows and playing the Wii. Every 30 minutes or so they ask for a snack because their sugary cereal isn’t holding them over. So, you give them more sugary fruit snacks and treats. After a few hours pass, you do the parent thing? and tell them the TV needs to turn off. So, they obey and proceed to grab your tablet and smartphone. You’re ok with this because they play educational games, so you justify that it’s good for them.
Does this sound familiar? Unfortunately, for most of America it’s the norm.Kids aren’t getting the nutrition or exercise they need to live a healthy happy lifestyle.The percentage of obesity in children is higher now than it has ever been.
Children who exercise are healthier not only physically, but mentally as well. They have more self-confidence and are less likely to develop child diabetes and other diseases and health risks. Teaching your kids about the importance of exercising now will make them more likely to exercise as they get older and stay healthy throughout their life.
Physical activity isn’t enough. While it’s a large factor,must go hand in hand with it. As parents, it is our responsibility to make sure our children are eating foods that are good for them and exercising at least 30 minutes a day. When it comes to food, parents choose what they bring into the house and what they put on their kids’ plates. It is up to you to make sure your kids are getting balanced and nutritious meals.
Some children aren’t naturally inclined to participate in physical activities. Part of being a parent is making sure your kids exercise, even if they don’t want to. We understand what is good for them better than they do. You should take time to exercise with your children. When it comes to exercising I don’t mean Wii Sports. I’m talking about real exercise, the kind that doesn’t require a remote, a censor or a disc. This is about some good old fashioned exercise.
These tips will give you ideas on how to get you and your kids outside and active.
1. Pass a Ball
This can be a baseball, soccer ball, football or even a hacky sack if you’ve got the skills for that. My son also enjoys the Frisbee. Try all different things. This will also help with your child’s hand-eye coordination.
Bike rides are especially fun in good weather. The length of your ride will be determined by your child’s age and skill level. No matter how long or short your ride is, make sure your child wears a helmet.
Even if your child isn’t a great swimmer, just playing in the water is an excellent way to work their muscles. You can play games with them like diving for rings. The things you do will depend on your child’s skill level and their comfort in the water.
Drive to the mountains, a nearby lake or even a park and go for a walk. This one of my favorite things to do with my family because it gives us the chance to talk. We also use this as an educational opportunity and will teach our kids about trees, flowers, animals, insects and weather.
5. Blow Bubbles
This may sound trivial, but young children love bubbles. They could spend over 30 minutes running and chasing bubbles outside. It’s a fun way to get them active. If you get tired of blowing them on your own you could even get a bubble machine.
6. Run Through the Sprinklers
Turn on the sprinklers in the yard and let your kids run through them. Kids could spend all afternoon doing this. It’s a great way to get them running and playing.
7. Invite Other Kids Over
When kids get around other kids, they feed off each other’s energy. Invite their friends over and have them all play outside. They can run all they want and make noise and it doesn’t matter. Have toys outside they can play with like bikes, balls, hula hoops, anything you can think of. This will also encourage them to use their imaginations and teach them to play with others.
8. Join a Sports Team
It doesn’t matter if your child is the best on the team, or the worst. It’s good exercise. My 3 year old just joined a soccer team. He doesn’t kick the ball much but he loves running up and down the field chasing the ball. It’s great exercise and he has fun. Try different sports until you find something your child enjoys. You don’t want to force them into something they hate, but how will they know until they try it.
Teaching your kids to exercise is important. They need to exercise to be healthy. Help them be active at least 30 minutes a day. You can also help them understand the importance of exercising by doing it yourself. Be the example they need. Don’t get caught up in this technology world? that we live in and forget to take care of your body. Your happiness in life is, by a large part, determined by your health. Live a healthy lifestyle and you will find yourself and your children to be a lot happier.
Kathryn Mott is a mother of 2. She loves finding new ways to make eating healthy fun for her kids. When she’s not with her family, she works foras a content creator.