Childhood obesity has become a significant problem in our country as more kids spend their free time engaged in sedentary pastimes. Unfortunately, many kids would rather watch T.V. or play video games than pursue outdoor fitness activities. Is there a way to overcome this problem of child inactivity? Here are some suggestions for helping your child be more active:
Lead by example
If you want your child to be more active, it’s important to set a good example. Be sure to incorporate physical exercise into your daily routine and invite your child to come along. A 30 minute after dinner walk with family can be just what a child needs to discover how much fun physical activity can be. Other exercise options for you to explore with your child include bike riding, swimming, roller skating, and ice skating. Try several of these activities so your child is exposed to a variety of physical challenges.
Enroll your child in a class
Encourage your child to be active by enrolling him in a class that promotes a physical skill such as martial arts, swimming, tennis, ice skating, or gymnastics. Who knows you may end up with the next Olympic hopeful on your hands!
Limit your child’s television and computer time
Set limits on the time your child can be on the computer or watching television. Encourage him to spend the remainder of his time outdoors.
If it’s safe, let your child walk home
If you live in a safe area and your child is old enough, allow him to walk home from school. If you’re worried about his safety, organize a group of children to walk home together each day led by a different parent each week.
Encourage your child to participate in school sports
Sports participation is a great way for your child to get regular exercise as well as build self-esteem. The skills and team values he builds as a child can be of great benefit to him later in life.
Give your child errands to be done on foot
Do you live near a grocery store, shopping center or post office? If your child is old enough and responsible, give him the job of walking to the grocery store or post office for you on a regular basis. This teaches your child a sense of responsibility plus gives him a chance to get out of the house and exercise.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to encourage your child to be more physically active. It’s a great way to promote positive health.