Getting children off of screens and out exercising can be a daunting task. Here are some tips for encouraging your children to get more exercise:
1. Set the example. Exercising is a lot more fun when it is done as a group. Take your children out for a bike ride, go for hikes, go bowling, take them swimming, go the the park. Your children won't even see it as "exercise" if you are all having fun together!
2. Encourage them to ride their bikes to school. If you live close enough to a school, get a group of children together to walk/ride their bikes to school. There is safety in numbers and they will get some great exercise, as well as some fresh air. If the school is too far, see if there is a nearby park or another place they can go with some friends.
3. Set limits on screen time. Only allow your children to sit still for an hour (or less) before they have to do something else. You can have them "earn" further screen time by exercising or doing other activities.
4. Make a "fun" jar. Write down some ideas of other things your children can do when they get bored. Include:
- riding bikes
- jumping on the trampoline
- going on treasure hunts
- playing hide-and-go seek
- racing around the block (offer rewards for the winners!)
5. Set family goals. Create a chart and offer rewards for certain goals. Everyone can get points for:
- doing push-ups
- jumping on a trampoline
- exercising for ten minutes (jumping rope, running in place, etc.)
- drinking cups of water
- eating fruits and vegetables
- trying new foods
- walking up and down the stairs instead of taking an elevator
- "rigorous" cleaning like vacuuming
You can earn trips to the zoo, going to a museum, going bowling, or other fun family activities.
6. Have them talk to their doctor. If you are really struggling to get your child to exercise (and they are becoming unhealthy) have them talk to their doctor. Sometimes having someone else talk to them about how important it is to be active really works. They can offer suggestions that you may have not thought of.
7. Get them involved in a sport. There are all kinds of activities out there like dancing, wrestling, basketball, baseball, karate, and soccer. If you keep trying different activities you may stumble on one your child loves!
As you follow these tips, you can encourage your children to be healthier and happier. For more information on ways to keep your family and yourself safer, contact a provider like Entira Family Clinics to learn more.