Hey Parents! You Can Motivate Your Kids to Exercise by Setting the Example
Summer is just about here, and that means good weather to be outside having fun and exercising with your kids. So, come on parents, get those sneakers on and burn some calories!
Inspiration for your children can come from your choices. So, get off the couch and start making small changes to a healthier and happier family! Obesity in children has tripled in the last twenty years, obese children are now likely to develop type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, upper respiratory problems and severe asthma. The increasing amount of fast food available and the decreased activity level of our children are creating a massive problem for our next generation. We live in a world of TV, computer’s, the internet, i-pads and i-pods. Our world has become all about convenience which doesn’t demand a huge amount of energy.
We can be great motivators to teach our children that to move and exercise is fun and exhilarating. This starts at a young age; they watch and mimic you in everything that you do. My daughter’s friend commented to his Mom, “Why don’t you exercise like Amber’s Mom?” It totally took her by surprise - she had no idea that her child was even aware of exercise. Healthy children’s lifestyles need to start with the adults first. How can we expect our children to be active if we aren’t?
Together as a family, you can do the following:
- Make Healthy Choices - avoid fast food and high fat snacks.
- In the warm weather, you will want to drink more. Make it water and juices instead of sodas.
- Increase veggies and fruit in your diet, and try to cook more with whole foods.
- Educate your children on the benefits of eating healthy.
- Make a chart that they can refer to everyday when they eat their portions of veggies and fruit. Encourage them to set goals and keep track of their accomplishments.
- Not just for the kids. Keep a chart regarding your consumption of fruits and veggies each day as well. Make it a fun contest, you versus the kids.
- Encourage your child to ride their bike or walk instead of being driven everywhere. Not only is it great exercise, but good for the environment.
- Increased Physical Activity - go for a family hike in the beautiful great outdoors, try riding your bike together, or play a simple game of basketball or soccer. It’s very important that you schedule at least one activity together as a family that promotes moving your body AND is fun and enjoyable.
- Family Based Changes - a new healthy lifestyle is not just for your children, but for the whole family. Otherwise, it will not have the necessary importance or urgency to adhere to.
- Have a happy, healthy Summer with your kids. Get out there and "Let's Move!"