Keeping Your Child Active and Healthy - Part 2
By Crystal Juarez, Athlete Experience Manager
Welcome back for part two of this series on keeping your children physically active. Last week I wrote about creating small moments throughout the day and focusing on fun to get your kids excited and moving. Dance parties, water balloon fights, races to the mailbox and walks to the park can be incorporated into your routine. Today, I’ll shared two additional tips for encouraging an active lifestyle.
Set Computer and T.V. Time Limits
Limit the amount of time your children are sedentary. Determine what limits work best for your family and stick with them.
Offer active options like joining a sports team or a local fitness gym or program. Talk to your child to find out what he or she is interested in and conduct a quick Google search. You’re bound to find something in your area that fits.
Encourage your children to invite their friends over for a game of soccer, basketball or tag.
During the allotted screen time, implement active breaks during commercials or every 5 minutes or so – do jumping jacks, race around the room, stretch.
Lead by example.
As a parent, you already know your children watch and mirror whatever you do, so use that as an opportunity to show them how fitness is a priority in your life. With all the suggestions mentioned above, most require your participation and all require your encouragement. If you throw that dance party, get up and dance! If you have your child check the mail, challenge them to a race there. Be a part of the activity and show them how to make fitness fun. If you go to the gym, bring your child along, if possible. Or talk to them about your fitness routine and why you work out. My son attends workouts with me about once a week, asks me questions about what I do at the gym and if he can try working out. This is encouragement enough for me to continue to model this behavior for him so that he will also grow a love for fitness. The joke in our house is based on something my son has repeated several times, “Daddy goes to work. Mommy goes to the gym.” The gym is part of our weekly schedule. Not only do I work out at 925, I also work there, so we spend a lot of time on-site. This means not only do his parents show him the importance of fitness, but he’s surrounded by other adults and kids that model this behavior.
I hope this series sparked some excitement and useful tips you can begin using with your family. Remember, start small and focus on fun.