How to Get Your Child to Be More Active
By Sara Butler
Kids love to goof off and play. The problem is that as children get older, life tends to get in the way of their naturally active inclination. With the risk of childhood obesity in this country, it’s important to identify the things that may be keeping your child sedentary and work to encourage more movement in their day. Here are some ways to help you get started!
Kids may be naturally inclined to jump around, swing, and climb up trees but there are a few things that stop them as they grow older. A few of these things tend to be:
- More demands at school
- Discouragement that they aren’t good enough for sports
- Lack of role models
- A busy family schedule
Even if children have the time to be active, many parents don’t feel as comfortable these days letting children roam for hours on end in the neighborhood. In other words, they have fewer opportunities to be active than other generations of children. When you throw in screen time, it’s no wonder kids aren’t as active as they were a generation ago.
It’s important to encourage activity in your child for many reasons. The biggest benefits to activity are:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Building strong bones and muscles
- Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- More positive outlook on life
- Better sleep
Physically active kids are also more focused at school as well as more confident in other areas of their lives.
How to Motivate
If you have a little couch potato (or spud), then you have to figure out how to motivate them to be more active. A few ideas include:
- Choosing age-appropriate activities – Choosing something that isn’t developmentally appropriate for your child will cause them to lose interest fast.
- Giving them plenty of opportunities – You must make activity easy for them to get by providing equipment, taking them to the playground, or signing them up for classes or team activities.
- Focusing on the fun – If your kid doesn’t enjoy it, they won’t do it. So, keep it fun for them!
If you find an activity your kids enjoy or buy a new piece of equipment that they love, such as a trampoline, then they’ll want to do it more. Plus, they’ll build confidence and feel more accomplished when you notice how hard they’re working on something or how well they're doing it, then they’ll keep on going.
Physical activity should be a cornerstone of your child's day. If it's not, then you must find ways to get them moving.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sterling, Va.