With less time and space for safe outdoor activities, and more electronics competing for your child's attention, it's easy for physical play to fall by the wayside. But in today's sedentary culture, encouraging kids' fitness is more important than ever. Try this advice to help even the most reluctant child increase active play time.
First Steps to Kids' Fitness
Remember that fitness and physical play are part of a healthy lifestyle that makes you feel good. Try not to send the message that exercise is an unpleasant chore. Exercise can and should be fun. Whether it be structured sports, games of imagination, dancing or just walking where they otherwise might hop in the car or pram - create the opportunities and the rest will happen.
Be a Fitness Role Model
The number-one way to prompt your reluctant child to be more active is to be more active yourself. Take up a new sport, resume a walking or running habit, or resurrect that gym membership you've been ignoring.Get out in the yard and have fun with them whenever you can. If you model sitting on the couch watching TV all the time, chances are, you'll have company.
Set Kids' Fitness Goals that Motivate
Many kids are motivated by rewards. Work together to come up with a set of goals for each member of the family, then plan some fun (non-food!) prizes, such as active toys you can all enjoy.
Boost Kids' Self-Esteem
If your child is overweight, fitness is more important than ever--but also tougher to encourage. Try this advice to help your child feel more confident about himself and his body.
Find Fitness Activities Kids Love
Maybe your child doesn't enjoy active play because she hasn't yet found the right sport or exercise for her. Check out profiles of youth sports to get a feel for some popular favorites, and don't forget to take advantage of seasonal fun, as well as activities that draw on your child's other interests.
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