Close to 20% kids and adolescents are overweight worldwide and the rate is increasing by the minute. It also states that excess weight in childhood and during adolescence can predict Obesity and Hypertension in adults, which is a major contributor to life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, and diabetes. Increased time on smartphones and the Internet is not making the scene any better.
Here’s what you can do to make outdoors more attractive than smartphones to your kid:
Put the ‘play’ back into your kid’s fitness routine. Boring, repetitive workouts are not only mundane and lack the motivation to keep you going, but they can also inhibit him/her from making progress. Let them play basketball, football, tag, football, tennis, volleyball, or cricket. These activities are fast moving and can burn a good amount of calories if played long enough.
Kids love “healthy” competition. Why not have walking races, push-up challenges, or jump rope contests on a regular basis? You’ll obviously have to offer a “handicap” to your child, depending on their age and ability. When walking, allow them to start a bit ahead of you. For push-ups, young children can workout using the modified hands/knees position, while you are in a military hands/feet position. Be sure to make these “everyone wins” challenge with mandatory rewards afterwards.
Kids are most impressionable when they’re young. Incorporating strengthening exercise is not only excellent for muscle tone but increased muscle mass can also assist in weight management as we get older. As far as kids go, the benefits of youth strength training are similar to those for adults –though the importance of getting an early start cannot be overemphasised.
Just as they sing in the Madagascar movie franchise, “You’ve got to move it move it” is the family motto you should adopt. Workouts that get your family moving together are some of the best ways to stick with a fitness routine. Bike ride, hike, skate, ski, snowboard, swim. If you’re moving, you’re being physically active, and that’s the name of the game.
Bonding, relaxing, and sharing in quality family time is a dying art with today’s busy families. Why not use Pilates and/or Yoga to bring the family together to work on releasing stress, increasing strength and flexibility, as well as discussing thoughts of the day? Sitting around the kitchen table can be physically beneficial if your family talks are done while engaging in one of these mind/body activities.
For adults and kids, the goal of fitness is to stay in shape and have fun, with an emphasis on the ‘fun’ part. Chances are, if you incorporate some of these fitness ideas into your family routines, you will have a strong, healthy family that will remain active and fit for life.
There are multiple reasons why sitting around at home can be especially damning for children. Not only is it stressful for their eyes to stare at the computer, smartphone, TV screen all day, they may also be exposed to too much too soon on the internet. Valuable life lessons get skipped if children avoid peer contact.