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The obesity crisis has reached a breaking point among children and adolescents. A staggering 19.3% of children are obese in the United States, with many more on the brink. Although making healthy choices at the dinner table is a huge component of maintaining a healthy weight, physical activity is also vital to a child’s overall health and well-being. If you’re looking for ways to encourage your child to get more active, here are a few ideas and ways to incorporate physical activity into your child’s daily routine.
Model Healthy Behavior
You are your child’s biggest role model. If your child sees you spending most evenings on the couch with a remote control in one hand and a bag of chips in the other, there’s a good chance that they will grow up to do the same thing. The best way you can motivate your child to get more active is by getting more active yourself. Make it a point to work out regularly, drink plenty of water, and watch your diet. When your child sees you doing these things, they will be more likely to do the same as they grow.
Sign Up Your Children for a Team Sport
Team sports are some of the most effective ways to get your child motivated to stay active. Not only are sports a great way to build valuable social skills which will benefit them as they move into adulthood, but they’re also a fantastic way to get kids in shape. Consider signing up your child for a team sport, such as flag football. Flag football is the perfect team sport for children, as it improves their ability to strategize and think ahead. Flag football also provides a great workout, without the risk of injury that traditional football may come with. For example, custom flag football uniforms are a great way for a child to take pride and ownership of their place on a team. Custom uniforms may even motivate them to work harder on the playing field as well.
Incorporate Technology into Their Workout
It’s no secret that children spend too much time on technology. It’s not uncommon to hear of kids spending upwards of four to five hours on a tablet or a game system every day. If your child enjoys playing video games, consider purchasing an interactive video game that incorporates exercise. Dance games and interactive fitness games are an ideal way to get your child moving, and are a fantastic alternative if the weather prevents you from going outside. This can help to encourage your children to be outdoors.
Incorporate a Little Friendly Competition
There’s no better motivator than a little bit of sibling rivalry. One great way to get your kids motivated to move is to turn an afternoon into an athletic competition. Have your children compete to see how many push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks they can do. Squat jumps, burpees, and planks are also ideal moves that nearly any child is capable of performing. The key is to make it fun so they are motivated to keep going. You could even incentivize the competition with a prize or two!
Give Gifts Which Encourage Fitness
If your child has a special occasion coming up, consider purchasing gifts that encourage fitness. Children often receive electronics and toys as gifts, however, these do not motivate them to get up and get moving. Tennis rackets, footballs, frisbees, and even jump ropes are great gifts to give a child, in order to encourage physical fitness. The caveat to giving these sorts of gifts is to take the time to use them with your child. There is no use in giving a child a soccer ball if no one is going to play with them. This can be a great way to encourage your children.
Conclusion to Encourage Your Children
Good habits are often instilled in a person at an early age. A child usually grows up greatly influenced by how they were raised as a child. An adult who takes good care of their physical health most likely grew up with parents who modeled healthy habits and behaviors. There are a multitude of negative health outcomes for children who unfortunately grow up to become obese adults. By modeling healthy habits, encouraging your children to remain active, and making it fun, you will be setting your children up to become healthy adults with a fantastic quality of life.