How to Make Exercise a Lifelong Habit for Children
Just like adults, kids need physical activity. Whether it’s aerobic exercise, playing a sport or simply jumping on a trampoline, children need a certain amount of exercise every day. It was easier before electronics dominated the lives of children. Now, with childhood obesity on the rise, it’s difficult to find a child who does not spend some part of his day inside playing with an electronic device, avoiding the outdoors.
Thankfully, there are ways to encourage your children to exercise and develop a lifelong habit.
Be a role model for your children
Children emulate their parents. While they will grow up to be their own person, the foundations laid for them in childhood can have profound effects on their life. Good or bad, kids mimic the habits of their parents. If they see you being physically active — playing tennis, running on the treadmill or any other physical activity — they will want to exercise themselves. Not to mention, you will also become more physically fit.
Transform exercise into transportation
Kids go a lot of places — school, friends’ houses, sports practice, etc. Depending on your location, you can turn transportation into exercise. Try walking your child to school or the bus stop, bike to their friend’s house or skateboard to sports practice. You may have to get creative, but the car isn’t the only way for your child to get around.
Use competition to motivate your children
Many children love to compete — whether it’s who can run the fastest or something random like collecting the most pinecones in the park. You can foster that competitive spirit. At the park, have your kids see who can run across the field the fastest or do more push-ups. You can even keep track of their results to keep the competition (and exercise) going for weeks.
Foster a love of the outdoors during vacations
While vacations to resorts or on cruises can be tremendous fun, they don’t always create an opportunity for exercise. Start creating a love of the outdoors in your children at a young age by bringing them on exercise-related vacations. Hiking, camping, snorkeling and fishing are all great examples.
Making sure your children get enough exercise is very important. With 1 in 5 children and adolescents having obesity, it’s necessary for kids to be removed from the screens and head outside. By following these tips, you can create a love of the outdoors and exercise for years to come.
If you have questions about your child’s health, don’t hesitate to visit your nearest Midwest Express Clinic location. Check in online and see a provider today!