Leading a healthy and active lifestyle is one of the biggest necessities to deal with our busy lives today. It keeps us fit and in the best condition we can hope to be in our later years. Problems arising due to sedentary and unhealthy living habits range from obesity, diabetes and heart conditions to arthritis, joint damage and surgeries like hip replacements and knee surgery. And yet so many of us find it very difficult to incorporate basic exercise and diet control regimens into our daily routines.
One of the best ways to inculcate a more active lifestyle is to start young. Kids today have a whole host of options that keep them glued to their chairs and couches and take away from time doing any kind of physical activity. Childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes is on the rise and children become lethargic, sluggish and not as mentally alert as they could be. Most experts suggest at least one hour of physical activity for children since it is essential not just to maintain weight, but to help build their bones, strengthen their muscles and also bolster a sense of self love and confidence. It is a must for overall development.
Thinking about getting your kids more fit and more aware about their health? Try the following –
Lead by example – All the nagging in the world will not help getting your kids to want to get out and be more active and lead a fitter lifestyle, if you yourself are sorely lacking in that department. Be the example your child wants to follow and lead a fit and healthy lifestyle yourself. Explain to them the importance of fitness but not as a chore, make it something they want to join in with you and get the whole family going. Children who have led largely sedentary lives will be resistant to change and it is up to you to make it look like the effort will be worth it. Join them in activities and encourage their participation in sports or other endeavors.
Make it fun – If you want to get your child more interested and motivated in physical fitness, make it fun! Don’t make it a daily drag or something you are forcing them to do. Look at other options apart from traditional exercises and find activities they will enjoy. Active outdoor games, hikes with the family, a swim at the beach, a fun dance session with the music blaring, a fun exercise video or a brisk walk with the family pet… make it something they look forward to!
Involve them in food planning – Apart from exercise diets play a huge part in fitness and overall health and well being. The amount of processed food, candy, soda and junk food that kids eat today is scarily unhealthy and deprives their growing bodies of vital nutrients. Talk to older kids about the different kinds of foods and food groups as a great thing and not as something that is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ ; make them aware of what their bodies need. Little ones and older kids alike can be involved in the cooking or prep process that helps bolster their interest in what id fuelling their bodies.
Set a technology time out – Kids today spend more and more time indoors and who can blame them! TV, video games, web surfing and more give them hours of entertainment that could been spent in doing something a little more healthy. Set a time out wherein no one is allowed to be glued to their different screens. Make it a game night or family time, go for a post dinner walk or play a fun game. Plan activities that are engaging and beneficial to mental and physical alertness.
Start your kids on the path to fitness today and join in to become a healthier version of yourself as well!