Tips to Help Kids Get Fit
Fit kids are not only healthier, but they can also be happier, more confident and less prone to depression and anxiety. You can help your children reap all those benefits with four quick tips aimed to increase your child’s activity levels.
Cut down on TV and computer time. Curtailing your kids’ TV and computer time may be one of the toughest tips for them to take, but it forces them to find something else to do. Come armed with suggestions, such as a trip to the park, a walk through the zoo or other activities that make them get up and move.
Skip the car. Instead of hopping in the car for a short trek to the store, why not take your child for a walk or bike ride? Do the same with other nearby destinations or errands when walking or biking is feasible.
Set a solid example. Cutting down on your own TV and computer time should come with the package. And if you really want to go for fitness parent of the year, make sure you adhere to your own exercise routine. The recommended dose of exercise for adults and children age 2 and older is the same: 30 minutes of moderate activity every single day. Even if you can’t get a full 30 minutes in a single session, you can still amass the 30 minutes with two or three shorter activity sessions.
Make it fun. Perhaps the easiest way to incorporate a regular fitness routine into your kid’s life is to make it enjoyable. For starters, don’t use the word “exercise.” Call it play. Set up outdoor play dates at the park or even in your own backyard.
Traditional swing sets are out, and fitness play stations are in. They let you transform your backyard into a play and fitness station, with features that can include swings, a slide, glider, spinner, rope climb and trampoline. Designed for comfort and safety, many also include padded mats, a sunshade and water mister.
The more accessible fitness is for your kids, the more likely they’ll embrace it. Make it enjoyable enough, and they may even embrace it more vehemently than the computer or TV.