September 24th, 2010 by admin
There are many ways for parents to encourage their children to exercise, and it is the responsibility of parents to help maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle for their kids. While physical education instructors also play a part in kids’ health with indoor gym classes and outdoor PE games, it is ultimately the responsibility of the parents to be good influences.
With the rising rates of obesity among adolescents, we should all be concerned for the health of the generation we are currently raising. Here are a few great ways that parents can encourage their children to exercise and remain active, without making it seem like a chore!
Encourage after-dinner walks and bike rides. When kids are young, they love nothing more than quality time with their parents; why would you want to replace that with sitcoms and cartoons? Rather than allowing kids to lounge in front of the TV, computer, or video game, head outside for a family walk or bike ride. During warm summer nights this can also be a great time to take kids to local community parks and playgrounds to engage with other children.
Exercise indoors. If going outside is not an option, consider indoor activities such as dancing, fun kid-oriented exercise videos, and interactive games such as Wii Fit. This can be a great time to teach your kids to swing dance, hula hoop, or learn gymnastic moves such as cartwheels and somersaults. Encourage your kids to join after school activities and extracurricular teams.
Walk, don’t drive. Whenever possible, walk places with your kids rather than drive. If you live close enough, walk your kids to school once or twice a week and explain that you are not only saving gas and the environment, but also gaining endurance and muscles which will help in sports and other activities. Whenever you are rewarding them with special treats like ice cream, try to walk there, or park far enough away that you get a mile or so of exercise. That treat will be extra-special then.
Be careful what you say. Try to avoid discussing weight in front of your children. Never discuss your weight in front of them, and try to focus on health as a whole rather than weight, body type, or appearance. Even if your kids are lean and healthy, if you focus on these positive attributes, they have the potential to develop into eating disorders and other self-esteem issues.
Set a good example. One of the most important things you can do for your kids’ health is set a good example. They will be much more interesting in activities if parents are involved in them as well. It may be difficult to encourage kids to play outside and remain active if you lounge around on the couch all evening. Participate in a variety of activities with your children, and let them see you playing sports, running, and going to the gym. Parents are the biggest influences on kids, so it is important to lead by example.