Children nowadays have so many options as to how they spend leisure time. Gadgets and computers have made it possible for kids to play their favorite sports without even going outdoors. If you try to evaluate the physical activity that your child has, you may be surprised that viewing time and other sedentary activities occupy most of his time. Some parents are even guilty by not setting good examples. Although your child may already be used to sedentary activities, it is never too late to start moving. Here are some tips on how you can encourage physical activity to your child:
1. Show your kids that you can modify your usual activities into one, which can strengthen your body. An example is when you take your child out, try to encourage walking by parking the car farther away. Walk together and try to use the stairs instead of elevators. Although the use of elevators can be quite convenient, it may deprive your body of the opportunity to expend energy.
2. Try to set a time for physical activity everyday. Find an activity that you can do with your child. Try to squeeze time in the day when you can walk your dog, or you can do a quick exercise together. Establish a routine physical activity that your child enjoys doing. This will encourage participation and at the same time burn off excess calories.
3. Limit your child’s screen time. Allow only two hours of viewing time during weekends, and maybe more during weekdays. This already includes time online and time spent on playing video games. Avoid placing television inside your child’s room because it can only promote sedentary behavior.
4. If your child is into video games, choose activity-oriented video games because it requires some kind of physical activity. Dance video games are good choices, as well as those that require movement in order to control movements on the screen. Research has shown that children who gave up sedentary screen time for active screen time doubled their energy expenditure.
5. Allow your child to choose the activities that he wants to get involved with.
Some children may love to get involved with group sports, while others may want to get dance classes. Some children may also not enjoy physical activities the way others do. If your child enjoys reading, you can walk or bike to the nearest library to get a book. It doesn’t really matter what kind of activity your child loves doing, what matters the most is how you can add physical activity to his preferences.
Physical activity doesn’t have to be really fancy like taking classes for a particular activity. Sometimes it takes a lot of silliness and creativity to get your child moving. Children look up to their parents, and if they see that you are doing what you can to take care of your body, chances are they may also follow. Physical activity is important because it does not only promote a healthy weight, but it also sets the right foundation for proper health and fitness later in life.