These days there is a great deal to interest kids and absorb their attention; things that require them to exercise nothing but their thumbs. The result is an upswing in childhood obesity and even diabetes and other overweight related health problems. As a parent it is your responsibility to ensure your child has not only a good diet, but enough exercise to make them fit and healthy.
This is not as difficult as you may think. Here are some tips to get your kids loving exercise.
- When kids are little, purchase play equipment such as trampolines and slides rather than swings where they just sit.
- Teach them how to ride a bike and take them cycling every weekend.
- If it’s not too far and you have time, walk them to school. Pick them up in the afternoon when they may be more tired.
- Enrol them in swimming classes and take them to practice in between.
- Purchase gifts for them that make them move; balls, Frisbees, bikes, games that require movement.
- Take them for walks and organise games such as treasure hunts to increase their pleasure and movement. Who can find a brown leaf and a green leaf, a round pebble, a seed etc.
- Visit all the parks in your area to see which is best.
- Spend time at the beach with them if you live near one.
- Encourage them to play on gym equipment at school or play centres.
- As they get older, put them into Little Athletics or a similar group.
- Picnic in the park with other mums and their children. The kids will run around and play as a matter of course.
As children get older they have their likes and dislikes. Find out what your child likes best when it comes to exercise and make sure they do plenty of that, as well as encouraging them to try out other things. There is nothing to say they can’t swim and cycle or play another sport – unless it’s your budget.
If so, there are plenty of free ways for your child to get the exercise they need. Simply running around the park and playing on the equipment there won’t cost anything except some effort on your part to go with them.
You can also make an obstacle course in the backyard and have competitions to time them going through it, or running around the house. They love to compete, even if it’s just against the clock. Most of all, make exercising a fun time for your kids and they’ll never know they are getting the exercise they need to stay healthy. To them it will be all play.