According to the NHS, 32.4 percent of girls and 36.1 percent of boys in the final primary school year are overweight or obese. Those aren’t numbers any of us should be comfortable with, and it probably means that kids overall should be more active than they are.
If you think your child is more addicted to technology than sports, you may want to encourage him or her to be more active. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the latest video games or social media sites. Then, before you know it, the day is gone. Zero time spent outside. Zero time exercising.
So, if you’re getting tired of watching your kids sitting around on their tablets, here’s what you can do:
Get everyone on board
Even if you’re only concerned with one child’s fitness level, it’s a good idea to get everyone on board with working out. This way, you won’t make anyone feel like they’re being singled out and you can find fun activities for everyone to do together. Think of it as a fun bonding time that you’ll all benefit from.
Provide some fun active toys
The toys you choose will depend on what your child enjoys, but some ideas include a basketball hoop, a jump rope, a skateboard or a scooter. When your children have active toys they enjoy, they are more likely to use them.
Limit screen time
It can be challenging to limit screen time as your kids get older, but there are ways. For example, you can change the Wi-Fi password and only share it when your kids have had enough exercise. You can also hide video games until your kids have played outside for an hour or more.
Live by example
It’s easy to say and much harder to do, but when your offspring see you with your head buried in your smart phone, it sends a very powerful message. Instead, try getting outside with your kids to be active or find other ways to get fitness into your life.
Don’t overdo it
When you realise your kids aren’t exercising enough, it’s tempting to create your own personal boot camp for them. Resist the urge. Some kids just aren’t as interested in physical activities as others, but that doesn’t mean they’ll grow up to be sloths. Try to introduce fitness into their lives in small yet consistent ways.
Instead of just saying, “Be more active…. Go”, try making plans to help your kids achieve their new fitness goals. Give them ideas for things they can do today, tomorrow and next week. You don’t have to create an agenda for them, but they’ll be more likely to get active if they have some sense of structure. And if you find that they have their own plans, you can scrap yours. The point is that they’re active. If they’re working out, it doesn’t really matter how.
It’s a lot easier to let kids sit on their phones and tablets than to force them to be active. And that’s not even a judgmental statement. We’ve all been there. Then, you wake up one day and realize that your kids haven’t been outside in days. How did we get here? Have my kids become zombies? It doesn’t even matter. Let’s just turn this ship around.
So, what’s your favourite way to entice the kids to get active?