Getting kids to be more active is a challenge in this day and age. Did you know that only one out of three American children are considered physically active? Or that the average American child spends over seven hours per day on electronic devices? Read on for how to motivate your kids to be more active.
Motivate your Kids to be more Active
Childhood obesity has been a hot topic for years, but only now does it seem like parents are realizing its devastating effects and scrambling for solutions. Thankfully, getting a child to be active can be done when you know how to go about it. Here are a few tips that will help you encourage your kids to be more active.
Participate and Lead by Example
Children always love playing with their parents. This could be your chance to bond with your child while getting active at the same time. You could go on a hike or a bike ride. Or play hopscotch. Or play catch for a while. All these activities can be done with little to no equipment and will be just intense enough to get your blood pumping.
Also, showing that you’re an active person in your everyday life and showing the benefits you get from it could also be a great motivator for your children. Children by nature love to emulate their parents, and by genuinely enjoying physical activity, you will start to influence your children and they might start changing their daily habits.
Find a Physical Activity They Actually Like
One key to introducing physical activity into your child’s life is to make it fun. They might not be up to following you on your morning run, but they might be more inclined to do something they actually like.
While some children are drawn to organized sports like baseball or hockey, others prefer individual sports and disciplines like Tae Kwon Do, water sports, or ballet. Whatever you can find to keep them moving and happy will help them associate physical activity with fun, which they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
You could also try to get creative and try some new activities your kids are interested in. For instance, escape rooms are rising in popularity and are a great way for the whole family to get active together. If you live in Pittsburgh, you could decide to take a day to go to a Pittsburgh Escape Room with the kids. If you have teenagers, you could consider something edgier like paintball or cross-country skiing. By making physical activity fun, it will soon become part of their lifestyle.
Limit Screen Time
While cooperation and compliance do work sometimes, there are times when you have to lay down the law. That means putting strict restrictions in place on total screen time during the day.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, screen exposure should be limited to no more than two hours a day. However, most children spend much more time in front of their devices on a daily basis. The only way you’ll be able to implement these rules is if you replace that screen time with something more active, like going to the local Y and shooting a few hoops, going to the park to walk the dog or anything that could get them off that couch.
Getting your kids to be more active is all about making some few lifestyle choices. Once your children have embraced their new active lifestyle, being active will become second nature to them.
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