A couch is a cozy spot for kids to spend their time. However, if your little one is lounging too often, they may not be getting enough exercise. Routine fitness is necessary to help growing children avoid numerous health risks—such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Specifically, children should get at least one hour of physical activity a day. If you want to help your child become more active, here are a few strategies.
5 Tips to Jump-Start Your Child’s Physical Activity
1. Get Involved
Set a reliable example for your children by participating in exercises on your own, as well as with them. Some easy family activities include playing catch in the park, walking the dog, going for bike rides, or taking a hike in nature. These are fun ways to introduce fitness to your child without making it seem like a workout. A fun and easy way to have active fun together is to prop up the iPad or other device and follow along with kids yoga videos, like this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZpkRAcgws4.
2. Make It Fun
If your child has a short attention span or doesn’t like standard sports, look for ways to mix-up their activities and make them more exciting. One way is to make fitness a game—such as by creating an outdoor scavenger hunt.
Many fun toys can also keep kids moving—such as chalk to play hopscotch, bouncy balls for tossing, and jump ropes to see how long they can go without stopping.
3. Stay Positive
Negative language won’t motivate your kids and can add extra stress to the situation. Instead, focus on positive encouragement that shows your little one the importance of exercise. For example, you can compliment them on their performance and say how proud you are of their efforts. Stuck inside? Try headstands, jumping rope, build a furniture obstacle course, and have wheelbarrow, crab or bear-walk races. Even older kids will want to get in on the fun!
4. Limit Screen Time
Reducing the time your child spends looking at digital screens gives them less incentive to lounge around the house. Consult with their pediatrician to see how much screen time is appropriate for their age. Then, try to keep televisions, smartphones, and tablets away until your child exercises for the day.
5. Set a Schedule
Between parents’ full-time jobs and kids’ hectic school schedules, it can be challenging to find time for health and wellness activities. However, by incorporating exercise into the schedule, you can make the activity as important as other daily essentials—such as eating breakfast, brushing teeth, or doing homework.
If you’re worried about your child’s fitness level, talk to one of our caring physicians at Coryell Health. We offer primary and specialty care for patients of all ages throughout Gatesville, TX. For more details on our services for the entire family, visit us online. Call (254) 865-2166 to schedule an appointment.