Engaging in regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Exercising can help control your weight, strengthen your bones and muscles, improve your chances of living longer, improve your mental health, and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other illnesses. This is even more fun when you work out as a family.
It is very important to involve our children in Physical fitness at home. Children don’t have to be over weight to exercise, mostly in this day and age of computer games, films, phones and other electronic gadgets, growing children tend to move less about in the name of having fun.
Physical activity is important for the entire family. Childhood obesity is at an all-time high, and inactive children are likely to become inactive adults.
According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition:
• Only one in three children is physically active every day.
• Children spend an average of more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen.
• Less than 5 percent of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
Here Are Some Tips On Making Fitness A Family Affair:
- Plan times for everyone to get moving together. Take walks, ride bikes, go swimming, garden, play hide-and-seek outside or go skating. Play a team sport such as soccer, basketball or touch football. Promote fitness at your child’s birthday party by planning active games such as tag or relay races.
- Plan at least one family activity every weekend. It can be as simple as taking the little ones to the playground, or as challenging as an all-day hike with your teenager.
- At family or holiday gatherings, turn off the TV and take a walk around the neighborhoods or go for a short hike at a local park. Or get everyone outside for a game of catch.
- Limit TV, video game and computer time. These habits lead to a sedentary lifestyle and excessive snacking, which increase risks for obesity and cardiovascular disease. Also, keep TVs out of kids’ bedrooms.
- Go for a 30-minute family walk after dinner instead of heading right for the television.
- Track everyone’s mileage or steps with a pedometer, and try to add more distance every week. Use a family exercise log or colorful stickers to track your progress. Put your log or chart on the refrigerator as a reminder to keep up the good effort together.
- Be a good role model. You don’t have to be perfect all the time, but if kids see you trying to eat right and getting physically active, they’ll take notice of your efforts. You’ll send a message that good health is important to your family.
- Keep things positive. Kids don’t like to hear what they can’t do; tell them what they can do instead. Keep it fun and positive. Everyone likes to be praised for a job well done. Celebrate successes and help children and teens develop a good self-image.
- Encourage physical activities that they’ll really enjoy. Every child is unique. Let your child experiment with different activities until they find something that they really love doing. They’ll stick with it longer if they love it.
- Don’t reward children with TV, video games, candy or snacks for a job well done. Find other ways to celebrate good behaviours.