Encouraging Your Child to Stay Active Year Round
With all kinds of temptations available for your child to stay inside and play video games, watch television or just hibernate during the cold months, you have to make that extra effort to get your kid outside to play during the colder months. Researchers propose that children burn half the amount of calories during the winter as they do during the summer. Upon coming out of the winter months, help your child get active and keep fit by engaging in an activity that he/she would enjoy doing. Doing so can establish a lifelong pattern of being active and prevent against obesity and other health-related issues.
Although children are usually bursting with energy, they oftentimes lack the self-discipline to regularly get exercise. As they get older, it may become more challenging to find them opportunities for continuous movement for 45-60 minutes a day, every day. Reasons for a drop in physical activity include: increased academic demands, dislike in sports, a lack of active role models and/or lack of participation in a physical-related activity or sports team
Physically active children are more likely to:
- sleep better,
- be academically motivated,
- be alert with better concentration,
- have stronger muscles and bones,
- be in good cardiovascular shape,
- reduce the risk of other diseases,
- have a higher self-esteem and a positive outlook on life.
Tips to get your child motivated to move more:
Show exercise as FUN by being a role model! Rather than telling your child to go outside in the cold and play while you sit inside watching television, go out there and do an activity together.
If the environment isn’t conducive for going out to play, take your child to play an indoor activity. Many areas have free recreation centers that offer a variety of activities such as swimming, skating, karate, dance and playing different sports.
Encourage participation in school-related activities. Allow your child to choose his/her own activity. The more inherently motivated a child is to do the physical activity, the more likely he/she is to continue doing it.
Make physical activity a part of your child’s daily routine — for 45-60 minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be all done in one shot. You can sprinkle it over two or three sessions throughout the day.
Like “Save Your Kids Now” fan page on Facebook. Be a part of this interactive community designed for both adults and children to discuss real issues pertaining to today’s youth, along with practical solutions for any of today’s unique challenges. For more information on helping a child obtain overall SUPER HEALTH, please visit: www.doughaddad.com.
Douglas Haddad is a clinical nutritionist, full-time public school teacher in Connecticut and the author of parenting/child guidance book Save Your Kids…Now! The Revolutionary Guide To Helping Youth Conquer Today’s Challenges and co-author of Top Ten Tips For Tip Top Shape: Super Health Programs For All Professional Fields.
Learn More About Fitness
- The Family Factor of Five: Making Time for Fitness (and Actually Doing It)
- The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Fitness Programs
- Get Your Heart Pumping with These Free and Easy Tips
- Life as We Grow It: Fitness as a Life Skill for Special Needs Populations
- 4 Exercise Progressions, 5W’s, and an H
- The Folly of Fitness Focus a User’s Guide
- Fitness Challenge
- Waving Not Drowning: The Process of Making Fitness Fun
- Five Fitness Facts for a Fitter Fall
- Fitness Fun: Incorporating Fitness into the Classroom
- Looking for a Fun Family Exercise? How About Parkour!
- Turning Physical Fitness into Fun for Life
This post originally appeared on our March/April 2013 Magazine