Worryingly, in the U.K., nearly a third of children who are between 2 and 15 years old are obese, and in younger generations, kids are more likely to suffer from obesity in their early years, staying obese for longer.
I’m always so conscious that my kids need to be active and healthy – but when you’re battling with the TV and computer games, it’s hard to get them to switch off and do some exercise.
However, over time, I have found a few ways to encourage them to exercise, without it seeming like a chore or that I’m just nagging at them all the time.
Set a Good Example
First, I think it’s crucial you set a good example for your kids – in all aspects of life.
If you’re telling them they need to exercise more but don’t do anything yourself, it’s not going to seem fair and they aren’t going to understand the importance of it.
So whether you set yourself a new target to exercise more frequently or you start exercising as a family, make a conscious effort to up yours and your kids’ fitness regime.
Encourage Them to Take Part in Sports
Not every kid is sporty, and there’s nothing worse than being dragged along to a sports club when you’re not interested. Plus, if your child feels out of depth when they’re playing a sport, they’re more likely to quit and associate being active with being inadequate.
So always try to choose age-appropriate activities and talk to your kids about what they’d be interested in doing. If you can get them involved in these types of activities from an early age, they’ll be more likely to stick with them as they get older.
Find Something They Enjoy Doing
As I’ve just said, sports aren’t for everyone, and if your child doesn’t show any interest in sporting activities, don’t pressure them into doing something.
Instead, try to think of other fun ways they could get exercise without playing sports. From dancing and gymnastics to swimming and cycling, there are so many fun activities. Have a go at them as a family and see which one gets the best reaction from your child.
Buy Active Toys
As well those video games, DVDs and other indoor-based presents the kids want for birthdays and Christmas, try to throw a few active toys in there too. For example, children’s scooters are always popular with youngsters, as are trampolines, basketball hoops, bikes and so on.
Ultimately, encouraging your children to be more active takes some perseverance (and exercise) on your part. You might need to try a few different things to start with but you’ll probably find that, within a short period of time, your child has focused their attention on a particular sport or activity that they enjoy doing.