As a parent, there is nothing more important than knowing your child is healthy and safe. But despite our best efforts, the world we live in can affect our little ones in negative ways. In fact, you might have come across many statistics indicating how children globally are being inflicted with health problems like obesity, blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety, and much more. The main reason for this crisis boils down to two causes, more or less–the fast food culture and the non-active lifestyle of our children.
While we can keep a check on their fast food consumption, it is an inactive lifestyle that is more challenging to deal with. It is largely because our kids are so enamored by their electronic devices. We can’t get rid of these devices completely, but we can promote a healthier lifestyle by motivating our children to be more active. Here are a few ideas to get your kids to put down their screens and be more physically active.
Regulate Usage Of Those Screens
The first step is to regulate when and how often your kids spend on their electronics. Try setting some rules and/or rewards, such as never allowing your children to take their tablets and iPads to bed. It does not only mess up their sleep patterns, but will also turn into a disturbing addiction for life. Also, set proper time limits on usage. Offer them extra time on their devices if they achieve goals like completing a chore or reading an extra book each week. This will make them move, for the sake of the devices at least.
Use Fitness Trackers
Fitness trackers are a hot trend these days. A good Fitbit for kids can help us understand our child’s activity much better. It records their steps, sleep hours, heartbeat rates, calories burned, and much more. This information can help us create better schedules and plans for our kids. Plus, these trackers are a good way of motivating our kids to run for rewards, all while having their own personal high-tech gadgets.
Plan Outdoor Activities
Another way to motivate your children is to get other children involved. Organizing group activities with their friends or cousins might seem like a big task to take on, but once kids engage with one another they will be far more active. You don’t need to plan out something huge; a simple barbecue with your family members would do the trick. There are endless ideas for getting your kids to be active outside, such as a picnic playdate, a swimming party, an obstacle course for the neighborhood kids, and team sports. And if you really want to give them a taste of adventure, go hiking or camping together. These are the memories your children will cherish for life.
Make It Simple
Being fit and adopting healthy practices does not have to be so complicated and expensive. Fitness is a mentality and it has nothing to do with money. In order to promote physical activity, all you really need is the will power and some time to invest in your children. Take them to parks, play physically active games with them, engage them in household chores, get them to walk your pet. All of these are just basic free tasks. There are so many opportunities to get your kids excited about being active. You just have to be ready to motivate them and give them some attention and guidance.
Make Rules Apply to Everyone In The Family
Are you acting like a healthy role model for your children? In order to promote a healthy lifestyle, you will need to follow it as well. Are you eating lots of veggies or junk food? Are you going to the gym and taking your kids on family bike rides around the neighborhood? Your children will mimic your actions more than your words, so if you are limiting their use of electronics, be sure to limit your own usage as well. This does not only help them understand the whole concept better but builds their trust in you. Always remember, good health is a lifestyle that demands strict actions and limitations–and so many rewards overall.
How do you motivate your kids to be more physically active?