In today’s ever growing epidemic of childhood obesity and adult obesity, teaching children healthy eating habits and appreciation of an active lifestyle early is important. If you’re stumped on how to get your kids to exercise, these tips can be extremely helpful. The first and most important one was taught to me by a college professor who taught classes to educators. Her recommendation for getting children to read holds true for a healthy lifestyle. Children learn what they live. You can’t sit in front of the television with a bag of chips and tell Billy to go out and play or to eat all his veggies. Potato chips do not qualify as part of the healthy vegetable group.
Let the kids see you having fun being active.
Exercise at home and have the kids join in with you. Children tend to learn by mimicking the behaviors of their adult role model. Be a good one. Go for walking adventures or play a few games of tag with them. Shoot some hoops. They’ll love spending time with you and love it even more being part of your fun. There’s an epidemic of obesity with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that less than 34% of girls and 50% of boys ages12 to 15 are fit. Obese children tend to grow up to be obese adults, plus many have to endure bullying and psychological abuse from other children, besides the health risks obesity causes.
Go old fashioned and save money, while getting healthy.
Going old fashioned doesn’t mean you give up your dishwasher or start washing clothes in a stream, beating them with rocks. What it does mean is walking kids to school, rather than taking the car or parking on the edge of the lot at the grocery, rather than circling and trying to find the very best spot. It will save on gas and especially if there’s long lines of cars with parents dropping off children at school, actually save time.
Make your choice of gifts lead to a more active life.
A bicycle is a far better choice for a child’s gift than a video game if you want them to be more active. Rollerblades, foot balls, soccer balls and even some fitness technology can prove fun. Consider a trampoline as a gift for the whole family or get your child a pogo stick or hula hoop. All of these gifts can boost the energy output, while they enjoy the play. You’ll find you’ll enjoy these toys, too!
Make family fun time active. If you’re going on a vacation, plan it around activities like biking the countryside or kayaking. Hiking through the woods and on nature trails in parks can be part of it.
Take the kids to the park and explore the beauties of Mother Nature. If you live in the suburbs or city, there’s usually a park close by your home. For those who live in a rural area, your surroundings are better than a park. Go on nature walks. Getting close to nature adds to the fitness achieved by the walk.
If you watch TV together, make commercial time active time. There’s no need to mindlessly watch television ads when you can use that time for the whole family to do jumping jacks or squats.
Turn on the music and dance through chores. Your kids will have fun and you will too! Dancing through chores makes them go faster and helps create memories that last a lifetime.