By Stephanie Lynch
Children may be filled with energy but that doesn’t mean we can’t substitute that for exercise. In today’s technological era, so many children don’t get the adequate exercise they need. Whether it’s playing video games for hours a day or sitting on their phone browsing Facebook, it’s so important that as a father, you encourage your children to exercise.
While you can’t just tell your child to turn off the video game and start exercising, there are some ways to encourage them and get them into the swing of exercising while having fun.
To get your children on the road to healthiness, here are some tips to consider:
Think! Be Creative
All children aren’t interested in baseball, football and soccer, and that’s okay. Instead of focusing on one particular area of exercise, such as sports, try to think outside of the box. Every child has an interest. So for example, if your child is interested in video games, then you may want to consider an active game that focuses on moving. All major gaming systems have add-ons that track your body movement when interacting with the game. This is an awesome way to have fun and play games at the same time.
Even if your child doesn’t like video games, try your hardest to find their interest and capitalize on it. Do they like dancing? Rock climbing? Do they like to explore the woods? The list could go on.
Younger children love when their parents join in on activities. Whether it’s riding a bike up to the local park or jumping in on a game of basketball, it may be best to jump in every chance you get. When you’re not in the picture, the child is often discouraged to play for a long time. However, if you join in on the fun, they could be playing for hours, burning off those precious calories.
Don’t let your child sit in front of the television or hang out on the phone for more than two hours a day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children shouldn’t get no more than two hours of screen time a day. If it has a screen, limit it. While this could make you the worst parent in the world, it’s going to encourage them to seek other alternatives when it comes to being entertained.
Be an Example
If your child sees you sitting in front of the television for five hours a day, what do you think they are going to want to do? Children love to mimic what their parents do. If your children aren’t active, then there’s a good chance that you’re not active as well. In order to practice what you preach, try to create a schedule that gets you off the couch.
There are going to be those days where your child won’t want to go out and play, and that’s completely fine. However, what if you offered the child a trip to the movies if they played basketball for an hour? Sometimes, rewards can be an amazing motivator for your child. Remember, when you want to motivate your child, don’t offer treats or something fatty, but instead, consider a reward that is healthy and fun that the whole family can enjoy.
Any exercising advocate will tell you that a routine is so important. If you don’t have a routine, it’s going to be hard to stick to exercising. The same can be said about exercising with a child. While every week doesn’t have to be the same, try your best to work something out every day. For example, Sunday could be a bike ride, while Monday could be a walk to the local park. Try to mix things up, though, because a monotonous schedule can get boring.
– Stephanie Lynch works for howmuchisit.org, a large resource with more than 4,000 cost helping guides. Find out what the many things in life cost such as surgeries, professional services and health related activities. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @howmuchforit