Children are becoming victims of obesity more and more each year. Obesity carries with it many health risks. Adults should help kids to get fit and stay that way if they are to learn healthy habits for a lifetime of better health.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children receive an hour of physical activity each day in order to get fit and to stay fit. There are several keys to getting kids to want to do what has to be done to be fit and stay that way. Making physical activity fun is one such key.
Kids will do what is fun and what is interesting to them. If you make physical activity look like something fun, they will do it without complaint.
If you tell them it is good for them, they may just balk at doing it. Activities that most kids love to do include dancing, using a mini-trampoline, obstacle courses, and games of competition. During the hot weather months if you can design fitness around some kind of water sport you will have a sure winner on your hands.
Another way to motivate kids to do physical activity is to give them a choice between doing something they dislike with a physical activity. An example of a choice would be telling them that they could either clean the basement or ride their bikes.
If you expose young kids to an hour a day of active play they will form a lifetime habit of being physically active.
Kids also need to see good role models of physical fitness. Parents, older siblings and teachers can all set good examples of what it looks like to be physically fit. Children emulate what they see adults doing.
If parents are couch potatoes, children will copy that lifestyle and become lifetime couch potatoes too. If children witness parents exercising, playing sports, and making efforts to be physically active during the day then they will see being physically active as normal habit and follow suit.
There are many ways to involve your kids in physical activity from school sports programs to community events like races, walk-a-thons, recreation department programs and child-oriented organizations such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
Help children to become motivated to be physically fit by helping them to design a goal chart showing desired achievements and then a reward system for accomplishing their physical activity goals. Educate kids on why it is good to be physically active and help them to brainstorm ways that they can be more active.
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