Raising active kids is not easy — especially when video games, television and the Internet distract them from other, more physical activities. Check out these five tips for raising active, healthy kids.
Obesity — along with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure — is skyrocketing in children and adolescents. All of these problems can be controlled through healthy dietary choices and increased physical activity.
Here are five ways to get your children moving and instill lasting, healthy goals:
Lead by example.
Children model their parents’ behavior. If you eat junk food, spend an exorbitant amount of time on the computer and watching TV, and exercise only rarely, you can’t be too surprised when your children follow suit. It’s up to you to demonstrate healthy and active choices. If your children see that you are active, they will be active, too. Try to develop healthy habits that will become second nature over time.
Provide opportunities to be active.
Kids love to run and play — it’s in their nature. Cultivate and support their love of play by providing ample opportunity to move. Make playtime fun. Kids won’t even realize they are getting exercise if they are having a blast. Play tag or start a game of hopscotch — easy and cheap ways to get moving.
teach kids the benefits.
Allow children to participate in sports and other activities, and suggest ways for the family to be active. Teach them about nutrition as you pack up their school lunches in the morning. Let the kids choose the weekend activity. Suggest things like hiking, playing at the park, walking to a destination and having a healthy picnic.
Turn off the electronics & get moving.
Enroll your kids in after-school sports, take family walks or bike rides, swim when the weather warms up or donate your time to a charity. Visit spritegreentabs.com for information on how to help raise money to revitalize parks in your area. No matter what you choose to do, just get your body moving.
Encourage movement through gifts.
A jump rope, tennis racquet, trampoline or other sports item makes a great gift. Create a healthy competition and buy pedometers for the whole family: See who can get to 10,000 steps first.