Childhood obesity is now a huge concern for health organizations across the globe, and with the last few generations of kids, now leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles, relying more and more on technology, and not eating healthily enough, it’s easy to see why. For the very first time in history, children born in this generation are predicted to have shorter life expectancies than those of their parents. With the advances in medicine and technology, this simply should not be the case at all. There are fewer more enjoyable things than playing outdoors in the warm sunshine with friends and family members, yet sadly, some children out there will never experience this as they’re happy sat on the sofa in front of the TV instead. Encouraging your child to get healthy and active will not only help provide them with more fun and more enjoyment, it will also increase their quality of life, their life expectancy, and put them far less at risk of illness and disease than other children of a similar age. If you wish to get your children active however, you yourself may need to get active with them, which is where we come into the fold. Here we’ll be looking at a few fun and healthy ways of becoming active with your children.
Start them young
Children are incredibly impressionable, so it is important that you start them young, and encourage them to take an interest in physical exercise and activity. You could simply begin by taking them into the back garden and throwing a ball around with them, or perhaps playing a game of hide and seek, or you could take them swimming, or on a walk around rural beauty spots perhaps. Whatever you get involved in, make sure you start your children young, as this will not only help them build up a love of exercise and the great outdoors, but it will also help bring you closer together as a family.
As mentioned, children are very impressionable and will often adopt the same mindsets as their parents. As the parent, you are your children’s number one role model, so it is vital that you lead by example. When you talk about exercise, games, physical activity, and the great outdoors in general, it’s important that you’re enthusiastic. Make a point of emphasizing how excited you are to be venturing outdoors and getting some exercise, and let your kids know how exciting it is. If you’re miserable and negative in regards to exercise, there is a good chance that your children will also feel the same way later on in life. Put simply, you should lead by example and show your kids just how much fun it can be to get some exercise.
Try new things
It can take a while for children to find things they’re truly passionate about, so try to get them to try new things until they find something they will fall in love with. For example, your child may wish to try soccer lessons for a few weeks, and they may find that soccer isn’t for them. Rather than giving up, try enrolling them in karate classes, or gymnastics perhaps? You don’t know whether you like something or not until you try it, and the more things your child tries, the more likely it will be that they will find an activity that they enjoy. Not only that, but enrolling your children in different classes means that they will make new friends and learn other social skills as well.
Don’t forget swimming
Swimming is one of the most important forms of exercise required by children, for numerous reasons. Not only is swimming a fantastic form of low resistance aerobic exercise, but more importantly still, being able to swim could literally save your child’s life. Swimming lessons are offered by numerous gyms and schools, or you could even opt to teach them yourself. Swimming burns calories, it is a whole lot of fun, and as mentioned, it is a potentially lifesaving activity in the process.
Go walking together
Exercise isn’t just about running around, playing sports, and playing until you collapse on the floor in a physically exhausted heap. Exercise can be as simple as simply going for a leisurely stroll around the park with your kids. Walking burns calories, it builds physical endurance, it boosts stamina, and it is a low-impact activity in the process, so there really isn’t that much to complain about. You could go for a walk around the local park, or you could load up the car and head out into the wilderness and go walking around your local beauty spot instead. By going to beautiful outdoor locations, not only will your child learn to enjoy physical activity, they will also appreciate the great outdoors.
Always find time for your children
No matter how busy you are, you should always, always find time for your children at some point each week. Whether it’s during the week, the weekend, or both, you should always make time to play games with your children, and to get active with them. The list of things you can do with your children is seemingly endless, and even if it’s cold and wet, there are still plenty of indoor activities you can do as well.
Make weekly chores fun
Though you may not realize it, things such as cleaning the house, or tidying up the garden, are actually great forms of exercise. You’re physically active, you’re engaging different muscle groups, and you are therefore burning calories. To help you get more done around the house, and to ensure your children are getting some much-needed exercise in the process, why not encourage them to get involved in weekly chores and have them safely help out. You could have them sweeping leaves from the garden, or helping to mop the floors perhaps?