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How to Get Kids to Be More Physically Active


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Last Updated on June 19, 2020 by Corinne Schmitt

According to statistics, one-third of children between the ages of six and 19 are considered overweight or obese. Although these kids don’t realize it now, their weight can contribute to a variety of complications when they grow into adults. Thanks to game consoles, tablets and smartphones, children just aren’t as active as they were in the 1900s. However, it’s easy to change the mindset of kids to get more out of life aside from digital pleasures. Here are some parenting tips to help get kids to be more physically active.

How to Get Kids to be More Physically Active
Katerina Atha / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Katerina Atha / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Setting An Example

Children are more responsive to various suggestions and rules if you follow them yourself. Most children will take habitual cues from the parent and will be as active or complacent. One of the bet ways to get children to get off the couch and be more physically active is to participate in activities as well. It’s all about setting a prime example of how you want the children to develop. Going out to the park to play a family game of basketball or other activity not only helps strengthen physical attributes, but it can help create a bond with the children as well.

Making a Game of It

Many children will participate in activities if there is some kind of competition or if it’s related to a form of game. Many websites display activities that allow one child to compare their abilities with another. High school students, such as Maisie Lynton, can compare their running records against others from different schools in a competitive atmosphere. You could also set up a competition in-house using a whiteboard as the family tries to beat certain records each day.

City Leagues and School Sports

Encourage children to be more active in school sports and city leagues. Although some parents can’t afford the registration fees, it’s worth the investment as the children will learn more than merely physical fitness. These activities delve into teamwork and pride – two aspects of life that many people do not exhibit. Some areas may also have sponsored activities that don’t cost money and may deliver the same kind of experiences. It’s worth the time and effort to contact your city officials and find out if such things are available where you live.

Be Supportive

Instead of using the, “or else” comment, focus more on praises for being more active. Many children will do just about anything if there is a positive atmosphere to the situation. Being supportive will also show that you care about their needs, which can go a long way to strengthening the bond between you.

More Motion Sensing Games

If it’s difficult to pry your child away from the game console, incorporate more games that use motion sensing technology such as that of the Xbox Kinect. Many of these games can be very physically demanding. In fact, some studies show that playing games on systems like the Kinect can burn more calories than jogging for the same amount of time. Having a weekly competition within the family can help everyone get more physical activity while keeping the household entertained. This can also be a good way to bond with the child as you’re engaging him or her in their world.

Being more active doesn’t have to seem like a chore. Making the experience fun can go a long way to improving the lifestyles of kids. It all boils down to taking a more active role in the fitness of the children and demonstrating how keeping the weight off is beneficial.

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