In a society that has placed an increasing emphasis on staying indoors playing video games, spending time on the computer, and watching mindless TV, it comes as no real surprise that our children are suffering tragic results. Obesity in young kids is becoming more and more common, and many rarely – if ever – play outdoors anymore. This is why it is vitally important for parents to encourage healthy activities in their children’s lives and find ways to sneak in exercise throughout the days. Whether you’re playing outside or stuck indoors, there are plenty of ways that you can get kids moving instead of staying sedentary throughout the day. These include:
Going on daily bike rides.
Biking around the neighborhood together is a great way to get kids outdoors and moving in a way that doesn’t seem like exercise. Kids rarely think of doing activities like biking as “working out”; instead it’s just something fun that they do when they’re outside. Make taking bike rides a regular activity that they can get excited about doing, and have the whole family join in to create an active family ritual.
Spending afternoons at the playground.
What kid doesn’t love to go run around at the playground? The playground is full of different ways for kids to exercise, from carrying themselves across the monkey bars to running up and down steps to get into the different play houses to pumping themselves higher and higher on swings; they’ll quickly burn off excess calories and energy without even realizing it.
Playing active games outside.
Instead of watching TV shows in the afternoons have the kids invite neighbors or friends over and organize a friendly game of tag, dodge ball, or Frisbee. They’ll spend hours sprinting around the front yard trying to escape from one another or tossing Frisbees or balls back and forth – all of which are activities that are much more stimulating than sitting on the couch zoning out in front of the television watching one TV show after another. This is also a great way for them to get to know other kids in the neighborhood and make new friends.
Playing interactive video games.
Not all video games are created equal, and sometimes getting outdoors will be out of the question due to weather, sickness, or other unforeseen circumstances. When playing video games or watching TV seems to be the only option you have you can turn to the interactive video games. Try playing games like Wii tennis or PlayStation Kinect, which will get the kids moving around instead of just sitting on the couch.
Get the kids involved in extracurricular sports activities.
Whether it’s soccer, swimming, basketball, or tennis, there are a variety of sports activities that appeal to every child out there. Getting involved with sports at an early age will help encourage kids to be active throughout the rest of their lives, and it also allows them to experiment with several different sports until they find the one that fits best with their personal interests.
Keeping our kids active and healthy is one of the most important aspects of child care that we do for them, and encouraging them to have an active lifestyle early on will help pave the way for them to be active throughout their lives. There are hundreds of different ways to get kids off the couch and moving, so don’t get discouraged if the first couple times you try don’t stick with them. Being active shouldn’t be a chore, it should be something they enjoy, and sooner or later they’ll find an activity that works best for them.