5 Parenting Tips To Help Your Child Get More Exercise
Was parenting easier forty years ago?
As a mom in the new millennium, I dream about the idea
of parenting in a world where streets are safe and parents
can let their children run freely through the neighborhood,
their bodies naturally challenged with the exercise of play.
Instead today, before the slam of the car door fades and the
backpack drops on the floor, the TV is switched on and the
last few hours of daylight disappear in a haze of video
games and over processed snack foods.
Even the concerned, well-meaning parent can often stand
helpless, wondering how to compete against marketing genius
and instant gratification. Exercise and carrot sticks have a
hard time competing with Xboxes, SpongeBob and potato chips.
The proof is all around us. According to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, the health of too many North
Americans is in danger because of unhealthy lifestyles.
The latest data from the National Center for Health
Statistics show that 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of
age and older - over 60 million people - are obese. The CDC
reports the percentage of young people who are overweight
has more than tripled since 1980.
My kids aren’t obese - why should I be concerned?
Your kids are normal, right? You are parenting just fine.
But in a world where walking is limited, school P.E.
programs are being cut, and cars, elevators and buses
eliminate our chance to exercise naturally, we need to make
a concerted effort to make physical activity part of our day
and our children’s days.
Despite all the benefits of being physically active, most
Americans are sedentary.
Inactive children are likely to become inactive adults.
So as parents how can we get our kids moving?
"The American Heart Association recommends that children and
adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate
to vigorous physical activity every day."
The great news is exercise comes in many forms and can be a
lot of fun! With a little creativity you can easily add some
fun physical activity into your parenting style.
1. Lead the way
You need to set a good example. Kids, especially younger
children, naturally follow their parents. So make sure you are
looking after your own health and making physical activity a
priority in your life.
2. Do it together
In today’s overscheduled world, we need to make sure we are
spending quality time with our children. What better way than
to be active together. Since kids can’t be alone roaming the
neighborhood, parents need to play with them.
3. Make it fun
Put on some music and dance. Play tag. Roller blade.
Basically just play. Provide them with toys and equipment that
encourage them to be active while having fun.
Bikes, scooters, hockey sticks and baseball bats will
get your kids moving and active. For preschool children,
ride on toys that get them exercising like pedal cars, big
wheels and tricycles are always a great parenting decision.
4. Cheer them on
Create positive reinforcements with
encouragement and support. Help them find sports and
activities that build their self esteem. Attend their
sporting events and let them know you are their biggest fan
whether they win or lose.
5. Turn it off
Of course, we need to limit the time our kids
watch TV and play video games. But make sure you do it in a
positive way. If they are angry that you just turned off
their favorite show, they might not be too excited about
going out rollerblading with you.
Allow screen time during designated hours, preferably
after homework is done and when physical activity is finished,
like in the evening or on Saturday morning when tired parents
might need to catch a few extra minutes of sleep.
Adding more physical activity into your family’s routine
will help you all feel better and get you having more fun
together. Most importantly, as you model a healthy
lifestyle you will help instill in your children lifelong
habits and healthy attitudes toward exercise and physical
About the Author: Susan Carraretto’s most important job is parenting but she also runs
online stores. Visit Pedal Cars And Retro Collectables
to find the perfect ride on toy to get your child moving.