Today more than ever it is harder to maintain a healthy lifestyle with sedentary pastimes such as watching television, playing video games and surfing the Internet competing for our kid’s time and replacing more physical activities.
Combined with the easy availability and low cost of unhealthy processed foods or ‘junk food’, then this can have an impact on children’s health, not only throughout their childhood but leading into adulthood causing serious health problems at a later date.
It is therefore important to make a concerted effort to ensure children lead a healthy lifestyle and maintain overall fitness. However it can be difficult to make a start and to inspire your kids to follow your lead, so we have compiled a list of ten tips to help you along the road to health and happiness.
1) Involve the Whole Family – Sometimes kids can be reluctant to take part in sports and games, especially if they think that they are being ‘forced’ to do them against their will. Children take their lead from their parents so if they see their parents taking part in sports and fitness then they are more than likely to want to copy. Ensuring that the whole family stay fit and healthy can provide the right motivation for the less reluctant child to get involved. Embracing a healthier lifestyle yourself can help teach a child that they need to do the same.
It doesn’t have to be all about playing ‘football’. For instance a family outing to the zoo, theme park or local attraction such as a ruined castle will keep kids on their feet, give them something interesting to see and do whilst keeping them fit at the same time. Making an effort to have days out where the whole family joins in can lead to a child having an overall healthier lifestyle.
2) Use ‘Active’ Transport – Ditching the car when possible and either walking or cycling instead can help keep the whole family fit and healthy. Perhaps this means walking to school instead of taking the car or maybe a trip to the local park or shops can be accomplished by cycling there instead.
Although it may not be possible for everyone to ditch the car so easily due to distance or time constraints the occasional journey can still perhaps be substituted. Not only is walking or cycling better for your health, it can save you money and help the environment- all great examples to set your kids!
3) Regular Exercise – The key to staying fit and healthy for both adults and children alike is to exercise regularly. Try to schedule exercise activities (whatever they might be) at regular intervals but do let your kids set the pace. As soon as a child feels they are being forced to take part in a ‘fitness’ regime then you may start to get some resistance and refusal to join in.
Pushing your kids beyond their limits may have a negative impact on them wanting to …