The invention of television and computers has given rise to a younger population who know the grains of their couch more than the palm of their hands. Well, all the blame can't really be placed on these two gadgets that have changed the face of our world, but you have to admit that childhood obesity levels have tripled over the last three decades. Cars have virtually minimized the times our children spend with their feet. And the grease served in fast food places have become a regular part of their diet that it might as well be included in the Food Pyramid.
Overweight and obese children are on the rise in America and we should be rightly concerned. As parents, it is our responsibility to encourage healthy lifestyle practices among our kids. Giving them delicious but healthy food choices is rightly within our control. But getting them into fitness activities that will benefit their health can be a bit more challenging. They don't trust mom and dad enough to understand their idea of fun. This does not mean, though, that we should leave them to their own devices in looking for fitness activities for kids that will suit them. Parenthood dictates that we take part in the process and even engage the whole family in the activity.
Here are some tips to finding fitness activities for kids that will get them moving:
1. Observe your child closely and listen to him as he talks about his likes and dislikes. Ask questions and allow for an open exchange of communication and ideas during family meals. This will reveal your child's interest in a particular activity. If you notice that he likes swimming, then schedule one Saturday to visit a local pool. If it's biking, you can take an early-morning cycling ride together or if it's paintball shooting, then get him the necessary gear and play with him. If you can't find any indication of any activity your kid prefers, then organize tennis lessons, or ask him to go brisk walking with you. Commit one day in a week to doing any of the things your kid loves to do. Make it something to look forward to so your kid looks forward to it.
2. Have limited TV and computer hours. An hour during weekdays and a couple of hours during weekends should be enough for any school age child. However, if you make their weekends packed with activities, then they shouldn't miss it at all. Start these habits early so they don't whine or challenge you too much. Don't put the computer and TV inside their rooms so you can monitor and implement your rule.
3. Join run- or walk- for-a-cause programs that happen often every weekend. This will motivate your kid to stay fit in preparation for the 5k or 10k run and should they win, would greatly savor the accomplishment. Even if they don't, it would be an opportunity for them to make friends and meet other health-conscious people.
There are many fitness activities for kids that are enjoyable and fun. You just have to be creative enough and find the one that your child will enjoy enough to get him to start moving more.