If you think it’s tough getting adults up and exercising, then consider again what it might take to get your kids in shape. Kids are supposed to be naturally active and inclined toward the outdoors, but this is not as true anymore with the popularity of technology-based entertainment. Therefore, you might find it challenging to interest your kids in doing things that are more work intensive than a video game.
Why Kids Have Obesity Issues
The rise in childhood diabetes is unfortunate. Children become 10 or more pounds overweight, and their eating as well as exercise habits are indicative of this. Parents aren’t raising their kids on healthy snacks and meal choices because convenience is king.
As a society, we line up in fast food drive-throughs at 3 and 5 p.m. for after-school snacks and then blame the kids for asking for it. Fast food is covered in addiction-forming chemicals. This is the primary habit that has to stop in order to turn things around for children weight- and health-wise.
Before you start pushing your kids to work off the pounds, you need to start changing their mindsets about food and steer them clear of unhealthy and convenience-based foodstuffs. Starting early to create a positive relationship with nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress control and other issues that play a role in weight and wellness will set your kids up for fewer challenges in these areas throughout their lives.
Ways to Get Your Kids in Shape
With kids, you may have to engage in a bit of psychology in order to influence their habits effectively. First, you probably realize that if you have more than one child, they tend to differ in tastes and energy levels. You must therefore determine ways to show all of them how fun getting in shape can be. An essential method of accomplishing this is teaching by example. If you place value on getting outdoors and staying in shape, then you will certainly encourage the same in your kids.
Tips to Help Your Kids Get in Shape
1 – Gamify It!
Video games are a natural way to make moving around appealing when it’s a required part of the game. Wii Fit may no longer be the latest technology, but it is still great for those who really can’t get their kids out of the house to exercise. It makes them feel as if they are playing a game and not really working out. Though they need to do this for 20 minutes a day, three days a week, you may have them asking for more!
2 – Get a Fitness Tracker
Just as your fitness tracker – such as a Fitibit, Garmin or Apple Watch – motivates you to move around, so will a kids’ version motivate your child. It helps your child to set goals, move around to reach them, and improve their goals as they become fitter.
3 – Use Sibling Teamwork and Healthy Competition
Use sibling rivalry in a healthy way. Choose games and other activities that they can do with the family but in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone physically or psychologically. Perhaps form a “mommy team” and a “daddy team” to compete–but then switch children to the opposite parent’s team periodically. Or, have the kids work together in competition against a parent/parents’ team. The goal isn’t to make one child feel superior to the other or to you. Instead, it’s to use healthy competition and/or teamwork to reach a goal at their best level.
4 – Discover Healthy Treats as Incentives
Use healthy food choices as an incentive to get your kids in shape. Choose fitness games and goals with a nutritious, smart food reward. Or, use healthy activities as treats unto themselves. Not all treats are something you eat. Often, your kids will enjoy spending time with you and moving around as long as you’re doing something fun.
Play tag! That old fashioned stand-by has stood the test of time with kids and can end with a healthy snack. This way, your kids will start to associated activity and nutritious foods with fun. In fact, when they get older, they may even be nostalgic about those treats and find themselves seeking them out on their own.
5 – Time Things Right
Play just after school. Do anything to run that energy off when they get home from school and your kids’ weight will never get out of control again! This will be helpful in a number of ways to get your kids in shape. The first is that it will help them to burn excess energy that may otherwise have contributed to behavioral issues. The second is it will help them to naturally control their stress levels.
Of course, it will also help to manage weight. Moreover, it will also help them to build up a great appetite so that when you serve a healthy meal, it will be more appealing than it would if they were feeling less hungry but more picky.