In the face of our predominantly visual culture and increasingly sedentary lifestyle, the issue of children's fitness has been superceded by the need to stimulate their activity. Where we once felt that it was enough for a child to be fit enough to hold their own in gym class, we now know that our children need to be encouraged to live healthy and active lifestyles while they are young.
If they are not, they may never develop the habits of activity that will keep them healthy and strong throughout their lives. Those children whose love for a bit of activity is instilled when they are still young are healthier all around than their more sedentary counterparts. Fortunately, this is not a difficult prospect as children are naturally active.
The fact that healthy, active parents make for healthy active children has long been scientifically proven. Parents with an active lifestyle and vigorous habits of physical activity are simply more likely to engage in these kinds of activities with their children. The result is active children who associate the activities of their childhood with the joy of spending time with their parents. So really, the best way to raise active kids is to be active and to enjoy it yourself. This will help you communicate and educate by doing.
Convincing your children to go out and exercise may seem silly, but there are all sorts of things that you and your family can do to get the proper amount of fun physical activity into your lives. Start young, when your children are almost too much for you to keep up with and you'll find that habits of activity will take hold quickly.
* Never place your child in a playpen or stroller when it is safe for them to move around under their own steam.
* When your children are looking for activities, suggest sports and other types of physical games.
* On rainy days, encourage your children to choose active indoor pursuits over television, computers, and video games.
* Limit your child's access to television, computers, and video games.
* Be active with your children-walk to your destinations and take the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator.
* Plan family activities like hiking, biking, camping, and nature walks to get everyone moving outdoors.
* Pay attention to your child's activities and interests. Look for signs of the type of physical activities they might enjoy and then sign them up.
* Take an active interest in your child's gym classes and performance. Let them know that this is as important to you as other kinds of scholastic success.
* Teach your child to enjoy the activities you most enjoy whether its throwing a ball or running a race.
If you show an interest in a physically active lifestyle, then your child is more likely to be interested in engaging in that lifestyle with you. You can help your family build healthy habits of activity just by trying.