Across the country, obesity amongst children has become a serious issue. It is estimated that around a third of American children are overweight or obese. Consequently, this can cause serious health issues in the future and can set them up for a lifetime of unhealthy life choices.
Despite these repercussions, many parents find it can be challenging to get their children to exercise. Screen addiction through games and videos designed to keep the user engaged has made it infinitely harder for parents to convince their child to go outdoors or take part in any physical activity that doesn’t involve an electronic device.
According to the scientific community, as well as fitness experts such as Jolene Cherry, most kids need an average of one hour of physical activity to promote healthiness. Because of this, many parents have had to get creative.
As a personal trainer and nutrition consultant, Jolene Cherry has dedicated her career to helping others, whether adults, teens or kids, prioritize physical health. Below, Ms. Cherry reveals seven easy, creative ways to encourage your kids to get more exercise.
1. Make It Fun
Find ways to make the physical activity fun and exciting for your kids, such as having a little dance party where they dress up in goofy outfits and dance to their favorite songs or having a snowball fight amongst the whole family.
2. Adjust Activities to Their Age
Make sure the activities you set them up to do are appropriate for their age.
For younger kids, this may be playing at the park or simple games in the backyard, while older kids may be ready to bike around the neighborhood or go on long hikes.
3. Play Time with Toys
Having something tangible to focus on while they play can keep your kids engaged and entertained at the same time. For example, a character-themed water sprinkler will encourage them to run around the backyard for hours.
They’ll be excited to play without even realizing that they’re physically active.
4. Exercise as a Form of Transportation
If you’re planning on going to a nearby friend or family’s house, ride bikes or walk as a family. This is a sneaky little way to incorporate exercise and get the whole family involved for precious moments together.
5. Make It a Social Activity
Set up a day where your kids’ friends come over to do a fun, physically active activity. This can be anything, such as a pool party to building snowmen in the winter.
6. Motivate by Using Competition
A little competition can be an excellent motivator for kids since they’ll be determined to be the winner. It can be something as simple as holding short races in the backyard.
7. Be Their Role Model
You’re your kids’ most significant role model. They look up to you, so set an example by being physically active, too.
It can be anything from carrying out personal exercise routines on your own or by playing with your kids. Either way, demonstrating that you exercise will positively influence them over time and set them up to make healthy choices years in the future.
About Jolene Cherry:
Jolene Cherry is a certified and experienced yoga instructor and personal trainer based in Portland, Oregon. Ms. Cherry believes that striking a balance in life is the key to wellbeing. She aims to help her clients reach that balance through physical activity, mindfulness, and healthy nutrition.