Five ways to encourage family fitness
By ESTHER MUCHENE | 1 month ago
Just like the need for adults to be physically active is an important part of staying healthy, same case applies to the children.
As they get older, participation in physical activities usually drop and this is where you need to pay more attention.
Staying fit is a vital part of their health and wellness as it helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, reduces risks of cardiovascular, chronic diseases and phycological disorders to name a few.
If your child is spending too much time behind their video games, phones and TV, it is time they started getting outside for some vitamin D and games.
Other factors that could be keeping them indoors could be related to school demands or no role models to look up to in the family.
They could also be feeling that they’re not good enough in certain sports or you live in a dangerous neighborhood where the kids can’t ride their bikes freely without the keen supervision of an adult.
Whatever your situation may be, schedule some time, at least an hour a day, when your children engage in some physical activity.
Here are some tips to consider so as to encourage family fitness:
i.Using household chores
There is no better way to kill two birds with one stone than this strategy. Get your children to wash the garage, rake the leaves or do some simple gardening.
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To make it fun, play some music in the background, have some ice lollies ready in the cooler box and watch them enjoy themselves.
ii.Letting it be a family routine
By now you should already know that kids do what they see especially when it comes to their parents who are their first role models.
Make it a family routine where before or after lunch during the weekends or before dinner during the weekdays, you all take a walk, ride bikes or do a simple aerobics exercise.
Just make sure you sweat it out and everyone is breathing heavily when it is all said and done.
iii.Setting an example
As aforementioned, children learn by example. So, don’t expect them to go out and play or exercise when all you do is work, eat and sit.
Take up an active role as the parent and schedule regular activities where the whole family can join in. That is a great way to motivate them through example.
Be excited and go out.
Encourage them to continue staying active by rewarding them with gifts that encourage physical activity. Examples include bicycles, balls-basketball or footballs, rollerblades, tennis rackets etc.
You can buy for them something related to the sports or activity they enjoy and this way it will never feel like a chore.
Other rewards may include a trip to their favorite mall, amusement park or a gadget they can be using while exercising.
One of the best ways to be accountable is when you bring your family friends and their children on board. Plan for weekend activities and use competition as a motivator.
This way, everyone will always be looking forward to the evenings or weekends to participate in the contests. Plan simple challenges like dress up relays, obstacle courses, football etc.
The best team or winner gets a prize.
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