In the past, parents really did not have to worry about keeping their children active. They got plenty of exercise doing their chores around the farm and playing outside. There were no televisions and computer games to keep them sedimentary.
Now, parents face a dilemma. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that at least 17% of our children and teenagers are obese. A report from MayoClinic.org warns that childhood obesity can cause several diseases at a young age. Those are truly disturbing statistics.
How can you encourage your children to be healthier? The first suggestion is to foster good eating habits in your family. You also have to inspire them to get active. It is frustrating when you must compete with our society’s obsession with television and video games. However, creating an atmosphere that is conducive to physical fitness may keep your children doing it daily. Here are some awesome ideas for keeping your kids active:
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Set Aside A Place In Your House For Exercise
Some people give the excuse that there is no room in their home for exercising. If you have thought the same thing, then take another look. You might be surprised at all the room you found for a big-screen and video game equipment. It just creates an atmosphere to keep your children a hill of couch potatoes.
You do not have to get rid of everything and buy a bunch of expensive gym equipment. Just find a suitable space where you all can exercise together. Perhaps you can find a colorful exercise mat and some matching bins for storing your equipment. Are your kids video junkies? The Internet is full of free workout videos geared toward youngsters. You can also get moving with exercise games produced by Wii Fit.
Set Time Limits To Balance Technology With Playing Outside
No one expects you to get rid of all of the technology in your home. As a matter of fact, there are many shows on television that can be educational for your family. Children need good computer skills for their future job market. The same source reiterates the fact that playing video games enhance eye-hand coordination and certain reasoning skills. So you should not feel guilty by enjoying a good show or occasional video game with the family.
It is only a problem when your children spend more time on technology that playing outside. As the parent, you have final say as to how much time they can have for television and computer games. Let your children know how much they can have a day, and stick to it. A kitchen timer is a handy tool for keeping time. When the timer dings, then it is time to go out and do something active and fun. Set aside places in your yard for outside games like basketball, badminton, or volleyball. The whole family can enjoy it!
Take A Hike, Kid!
There are probably a lot of fitness enthusiasts who are running and jogging through your neighborhood every morning. If that is something your family would love to do, then go for it! If not, then do not be discouraged. Your family can still get impressive benefits from daily walking. Plus, you will not have the extra stress on your joints that running may cause.
Get some comfortable tennis shoes on and take a stroll with the kids through your neighborhood. A walk through the park or through the forest also lets them appreciate the grandeur of nature.
Make A Game Out Of It!
Any parents will tell you what a hassle it is to get their kids to do chores. If you turn it into a game, you get double benefits: chores will be done and they will get exercise. Even younger children love the competition of seeing who can pick up the most toys and put them away the quickest. Crank up the music and dance while you are straightening the house. It will not seem so much a chore for them anymore.
Get Fit Together
If you enjoy going to the gym, then make it a family affair. Many gyms, such as the YMCA, offer generous discounts for family memberships. Your children, depending on their ages, can choose some individual classes. You can also get out your yoga leggings and take yoga classes together. See if your gym has team sports that you family can join.
Your children will follow your example in most things. If you keep staying active a daily habit, they will do the same. With a healthy diet and regular exercise, your family can stay fit for years to come.