Obesity has become a childhood epidemic and has severe implications for the future health of the population. Nearly one-third of children in the United States are currently overweight, if not obese. Obesity puts children at risk for diseases such as diabetes and heart disease; they are also more likely to continue unhealthy eating and exercise habits into adulthood.
Research shows that kids need at least one full hour of physical activity every day to be healthy. Children younger than six years old need at least two hours of exercise. It not only promotes well-being but can also help tire them out, making their bedtime routine easier for parents.
Unfortunately, with the high popularity of video games and streaming services, it can be incredibly difficult for parents to convince their children to exercise. If you want your kids to move more and sit less, you may need to get creative. Here, coach, mentor, and leader Seth Coffing shares five ways to help encourage your children to exercise and have fun.
Make It Fun
Exercise doesn't have to be a full workout; it can be any activity that gets kids moving. Riding their bikes and playing hopscotch outside are timeless favorites, but on days where it's a little too cold or rainy to go out, you might have to improvise. For example, have a dance party with your kids by putting on some exciting music, give them goofy outfits or costumes to put on, and let them have fun.
Involve Their Friends
Not every parent has the time to play with their kids constantly. For those times that you don't have the time or energy, reach out to another parent to set up a playdate.
You can plan something fun that involves exercise, such as a snowball fight, or let the kids come up with something on their own.
Use Competition to Motivate Them
A little healthy competition can be an excellent motivator for kids. Be their referee for an afternoon and hold races to see who can run the fastest, or hold your own version of kids' Olympics with homemade prizes for fun all day.
Ride or Walk to Destinations
Rather than take the car to a nearby park or relative's house, walking or riding bikes is a great way to sneak in a little exercise.
Be an Example
Lastly, you're your children's most prominent role model, and practicing an active, healthy lifestyle starts with you. Exercising every day and eating well will make a significant impact on your kids as they grow up. By keeping fit with them, you're also benefiting yourself, and you can make it part of your family's routine.
About Seth Coffing
Seth Coffing is a devoted coach, mentor, and leader with a proven track record. Since high school, he has been accumulating victories in football, basketball, and baseball, and he has continued to do so in his 19-year-long coaching career. Seth Coffing is a team leader adept at working with people of different ages and backgrounds, helping them perform at the highest levels.
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