Regular physical exercise is essential for young children in many ways. It is necessary for their health and for their growth and development. It is important for helping them to maintain a healthy weight. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of 5 of all children and adolescents in the United States are overweight or obese, which accounts for 13.7 million children and teenagers. This is a serious issue as obesity can be seriously detrimental to both a child’s physical and emotional health.
Overweight children are at higher risk of developing chronic illnesses. They are also more likely to be overweight or obese as adults as well, putting them at higher risk of obesity-related conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Overweight children may also face the issue of low self-esteem.
To protect your child’s health, it is crucial that you ensure that they are getting sufficient exercise. This will help to prevent obesity, promote cardiovascular fitness, guard against illnesses as well as enhance their self-confidence. It is recommended that children and adolescents get in at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical exercise in a day. Teaching your child good fitness habits from a young age will help them to grow into healthy and successful adults.
Here are some tips you can use to instill an active lifestyle into your kids:
Be a Role Model
Children are always observing and imitating their parents. A big part of instilling good habits in your children is to have them see you practicing them. If you set a good example by exercising regularly, your children will be more willing to exercise frequently as well.
Make Exercise Fun
Teach your kids to love exercise so that they will do it again and again. You can achieve this by playing sports, like football or frisbee, together as family. You could also install a home gym that the whole family can use to work out together.
Put a New Spin on Boring Tasks
Trick your kids into exercising by turning mundane household chores into an exciting family activity! Have a laundry folding competition to see who is the quickest at folding clothes. Or how about a leave raking competition? The possibilities are endless. Not only will your kids get in more exercise, they will also get a good laugh out of it.
Cater to your Children’s Interests
It doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Find a sport that your child loves and be supportive. Introduce them to various sports to figure out their interest. Team sports, like basketball, are especially great for keeping kids physically active on a frequent basis.
Remove other Distractions
When children surrounded by other means of entertainment such the TV, computer or a smartphone, they will be less inclined to participate in physical activity. Motivate them to get their bodies moving by limiting their screen time.
Get Other People’s Support
You don’t have to do it alone. Let other caregivers like grandparents and teachers know of your expectations for your children’s fitness so that they can help to encourage healthy fitness habits when your child is with them.