6 Ways to Motivate Your Kids to Move More
By Jessa McClure
With busy schedules and mountains of homework, it can sometimes be difficult to find time to be active. But leading a sedentary lifestyle can be detrimental to your child's future. Child obesity rates have tripled in the last 30 years, according to www.LetsMove.gov
, and if we don't make big changes to our children's habits, they could face diabetes, heart disease and other serious illnesses.
Along with choosing healthy meal and snack options, we should also encourage children to be active. Here are some ideas to help motivate your family to get off the couch and move towards a healthier lifestyle.
1. Turn off the TV and unplug the electronics
If you want your kids to get moving, then you'll have to break the trance that TV, tablets and video games can sometimes create. Parents can often be just as guilty about getting sucked into their devices. So, set a good example, and step away from your digital distractions as well.
2. Do active chores
While the word chore doesn't sound appealing to most children, these helpful activities can often be a sneaky way to get your kids moving. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute suggests involving your children in gardening or home repairs. Washing the car by hand can also be a fun and active chore, especially if you're getting sprayed with the hose on a hot summer's day.
3. Integrate exercise into daily life
Children need 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day in order to maintain a healthy weight, according to www.LetsMove.gov.
Try incorporating this daily exercise into your daily routine. Go for a walk as a family after dinner, park farther away from the grocery store, or turn on some music and dance in your living room.
4. Sign up for organized sports
If you think your children need another outlet for physical activity, then try signing them up for an organized sport. From soccer to baseball, there's something for every taste and pace. Team sports not only get your kids moving, but they also help children master new skills, learn how to get along with kids their own age, and challenge their physical limits, according to www.kidshealth.org.
Click here for some local sports opportunities.
5. Explore the outdoors
Think outside of the box when it comes to physical activity. It doesn't always have to mean
playing a game of basketball or working out to an exercise video. You can challenge your family's physical limits by exploring your own backyard. You can take nature walk, go for a hike or try rock climbing.
6. Offer incentives and rewards
Some kids might be initially reluctant to give up their precious screen time. So, offering incentives and rewards might help to ease them into a more active lifestyle. Give each family member a pedometer and offer a reward for the person who has the most steps at the end of the month. Or sign everyone up for a 5K and train together. If you do reward your kids for their hard work, try using non-food-based treats. You could reward your little ones with a trip to the water park or a special day doing something they love to do.
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