5 Ways to Get Kids Active

 

I heard a very surprising fact on the radio the other week. A nutritionist asked the listeners what they thought the leading cause of death was. Like most, I thought the answer was something like heart disease, obesity or cancer. It was none of the above. Apparently, the leading cause of death is inactivity.

That’s why it is so vital that we help our children to become more active. Here are some helpful hints by Steve Ettinger, a children’s fitness expert and author:

Be creative

Whether you live in an urban, suburban or rural environment, use the space, time and resources you have to find ways to exercise. For example, if you live in the city and don’t have access to outdoor space, find indoor activities. Ettinger also says if kids are sitting in front of the TV, challenge them to exercise in short spurts during commercials. It is a far better solution than having them get up to snack on junk food.

Schedule time to exercise

Writing down time to exercise makes it much more likely that you will do it. Even if it’s just playing at the park, schedule that time in your calendar.
Ettinger also says children who eat poorly will naturally not have as much energy and as high of an activity level as children who eat nutritiously.

Get involved as a family

One of the best ways to get children to exercise is for the family to participate together. Find something that everyone enjoys doing, such as bike riding or going for a walk around the neighborhood, and do it together. That way, there are fewer safety concerns because kids aren’t out by themselves, and everyone in the family – including yourself – gets to benefit from moving around.

Find something your kids enjoy

One reason kids stop exercising is that they are forced into activities they don’t enjoy. If your child doesn’t like a particular activity or organized sport, be patient and take the time to explore different options. Ettinger says if kids find activities fun, they will usually stick with them. He also says it’s best to find an activity for children before age 10 – otherwise, inertia will become a habit.

Educate yourself

Modeling proper nutrition and exercise is the best way to teach your kids about maintaining a proper weight and a healthy lifestyle. Ettinger says he is amazed by the number of parents who have misconceptions about proper nutrition. Seek out resources so you can learn the basics and incorporate these lessons into your own life.

Click on the link to read my post on 6 Strategies for Promoting Healthy Food to Kids.

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