In the early days of our nation, kids got their exercise with physically demanding chores and still loved running and playing when they were done. With each generation, life got easier as labor saving devices replaced the need for children to do the work and kids focused more on fun. Unfortunately, today that fun doesn’t include running and playing, but sitting in front of a computer screen, even a tiny one in a phone. To get children more active, it’s no longer of just letting kids be kids. Instead, you have to motivate your kids to get exercise.
Motivating kids to workout is just half the battle.
Besides an easier lifestyle, fast food became a way of life. There’s inexpensive junk food everywhere you look, even in schools! Every grocery aisle has sugar coated treats and every checkout counter from gas stations to drug stores have a rack of candy just waiting for children to reach out and enjoy. Fresh fruits and vegetables have taken a backseat to sugar coated pastries made with white flour. Getting kids to eat healthy is another challenge parents have to do.
Start by being a role model.
Whether it’s exercising or eating healthy, you set the stage. Children learn what they live and if you exercise regularly, eat healthy and do all the things necessary for a healthier lifestyle, they’ll automatically think it’s part of everyone’s life. Sitting down to a meal is important. Not only does it encourage poor eating habits, it weakens the family unit and communication. Make sure there are plenty of healthy foods on the menu and healthy snacks in the refrigerator for after school.
It’s more than just exercising.
You can bring a lot of enthusiasm and family fun when you live an active lifestyle. Get the whole family to sign up for classes. We offer something for everyone in the family, even Grandma and Grandpa. Instead of going separate ways, have one day devoted to family fun where you hike, rock climb, swim or even bike together. If kids grow up in an active family, they tend to stay active all their lives.
- Lighten your load and get the kids involved. Have the children help you make meals and snacks. It can be something a simple as stuffing celery with peanut butter and putting raisins on top for ants on a log.
- Plan and prepare meals ahead. Take one day to make a whole weeks worth of meals. Do it as a family project. Make extra, so you won’t have to cook one weekend or will only have to make a few meals.
- Get plenty of sleep. Created a regular bedtime for everyone in the house and a regular time to get up, even on weekends. That consistency can keep you and your kids happier and healthier.
- Share your fitness goals and successes with the kids and encourage them to do the same. No matter who or what age you are, you tend to do more of what you focus on and what provides positive feedback.