- Family and Parenting»
How to Get Your Child To Exercise More
Increasing Your Child's Activity
Anyone who pays attention to the news will be aware that childhood obesity and its attendant illnesses are on the rise. One reason is that the average child spends most of his free time either in front of the television set or playing some type of video game. The result is that most kids lack energy and physical fitness. In order for a child to develop normally in body and mind, he needs to participate in some form of physical activity. Getting your child off the couch and on his way to a healthier life may present a challenge, but with a little patience and by following these steps it can be done.
Be a good leader
1. Be active yourself. Let your child see you walking, going to the gym or engaging in some form of exercise and he/she is likely to follow. Another way is to arrange family outdoor activities. At least three days a week the family should spend time together doing one of these – walking, biking, jumping rope, playing catch or some other type of ball game.
2. Know your child. If he is athletically inclined, then you don’t have much of a problem, but if he is more of a reader or nature lover, then you may have to stretch yourself to combine some outdoor activity with what he likes. It could be a walk on the beach, a picnic in the park or some other scenic spot where your child gets both the physical activity and is able to engage in his favorite pastime. He may even bring his hand-held along.
3. Set limits. This is important to prevent little Johnny from turning into a video game junkie. Compromise works best. Johnny goes biking with the family for one hour one evening and he gets to play his video game, watch TV or play on the computer for one hour the next evening.
4. Plan for the weather. Rain or snow may prevent you from going outdoors, but you can still have some indoor fun with a ball, a basketball hoop or a ping pong table. No equipment? Try Simon Says, Red Light or something that requires only living bodies. You can come up with some of your own ideas.
5. Involve his friends. Your child is more likely to cooperate if you invite his friends to come along on a family outing. Some parents may also volunteer to assist, so you don’t end up having to supervise a lot of kids on your own.
6. Remember the snacks. What good is an outing without snacks? Make sure you have enough snacks for your child and her friends. Depending on the length of the outing, you may want to schedule a couple breaks in-between so they can enjoy their snacks. If it's a short outing, you may want to hold on to these until the activity is over.
Go easy on the child
Do not threaten, cajole or try to get him to do too much at once. It will cease to be fun and he may rebel.
Have him make suggestions on the types of activities he enjoys.
Having a dog can do wonders to motivate your child to get out into the fresh air.
You know your child. You want her to be healthy and happy. By incorporating these tips into your routine, you can have both.