It doesn’t surprise us to see a two-year-old masterfully handling a cell phone, tablet or computer, right? We’re introducing our children to technology very early on and this, could have negative consequences on children’s health.
According the World Health Organization, 60% of the world population is sedentary and, what’s even more worrying is that children are part of the high-risk populations. The causes are many: the lack of time parents have to spend with their children, overuse of new technologies, lack of motivation, etc.
Clearly passive leisure activities have beat out physical activity, and this, combined with a diet high in calories and sugar, is one of the leading causes of childhood obesity.
Studies show that children imitate what they see their parents doing: if you move, they will move. If you show them the basics of healthy living, they pick up good habits and introduce them into their daily routines. It may sound complicated, but it’s actually very easy! The most important thing is to get involved with them. Here we want to offer some fun options to motivate your children to disconnect and get moving (and you along with them!) :
- Move your favorite indoor games to the yard! Is your child a fan of hide and seek? Hiding behind a tree while you chase him around is surely more fun than hiding under the bed.
- Take advantage of warm days and plan a healthy picnic on the beach or at the park. Playing tennis is a super healthy and fun activity. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and protected from the sun.
- How about an obstacle course right in your own backyard? Organize it with your children and neighbors and complete several activities at different stations and, at the end, have a healthy snack! You can find several options on our website.
- Taking part in activities together is one of the best ways to instill the value of teamwork into your children, and what better team than your own family? Encourage children to prepare a recipe together in the kitchen, getting them involved from the very beginning. For example, you can go buy the ingredients together, prepare the utensils you will need…
Cooking with your kids means teaching them about math, science and healthy habits! In the “news” section of our website you will find delicious, nutritious and very fun recipes!
- Make a family contract. Hang it up in a place where everyone can see it. Over the course of five months, make sure the whole family is committed to doing at least 15 minutes of daily physical activity. Make it fun by rewarding those who keep their word and stay active! Younger and older kids alike will be more motivated if you set goals, if there is competition and / or if you monitor the process.
- Walk the dog. Why not use the family pet as a motivator? A long walk along a path close to home means not only getting in some physical activity, but is also an ideal time to connect with your child. Also, the dog probably needs the exercise too. Everybody wins!
It is important to know, when it comes to motivating, that younger children prefer to play than to do conventional exercise. So they’re probably more into a bike ride than running around a track. On the other hand, older kids prefer to do more disciplined physical activities with their parents if some friends can come along.
Remember that when playing outside it’s important to always supervise children and keep them hydrated, especially on hot summer days.
Fun is the best motivator for kids to keep active; it’s time to go out and play!