Motivating your kids to stay active is more important than many parents realize.The truth is that there is a childhood obesity epidemic going on in the US as we speak. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled over the past three decades! As of 2008, over 33% of children and adolescents were classified as overweight or obese.
If you want to beat the statistics and keep your kids healthy, it’s important to stay active as a family. You can start by setting a good example as a parent by spending more time with your kids outdoors, riding bikes, walking, or playing with the family pet.
But sometimes encouraging your kids to go to the playground isn’t that simple…How are you supposed to keep your kids motivated when they’d rather stay inside and watch TV or play video games? To get the ball rolling, check out these three simple tips to encourage your kids to exercise – while still having fun.
1. Explain the purpose of exercise.If you can help your kids to understand that staying active is good for their body and overall health, this is a fact that will stick with them into adulthood. Even exercising or going outdoors to play for 15 minutes a day can make a serious difference in keeping your kids at a healthy weight, regulating metabolism, and even triggering healthy sleep cycles at night.
2. Exercise as a group. It’s difficult to expect your kids to stay active if you want them to go out and play alone. If you don’t have time to exercise as a family, at the very least, get your kids involved in some type of community sport or activity. Once your kids realize that they can have fun as part of a team, exercise will become a staple of their childhood to keep them at a healthy weight.
3. Use technology. You can also cater to your child’s love for technology and video games when it comes to staying fit. If you have an Xbox, you can use a device like the Kinect to encourage your kids to play interactive video games that require physical activity to work up a sweat indoors when the weather is bad outside. Since this is the age of technology, many kids may feel more comfortable staying active while playing a video game; using a Kinect workout game will help your kids to learn regular exercises that they can use to stay fit without feeling intimidated in a group setting.
Bethany Ramos is a full-time freelance writer that co-owns her own e-commerce website, The Coffee Bump.