While most parents are aware that physical activity is important for their children’s health, it can be a challenge to pull kids away from more sedentary activities during the day. These days many children and teens would prefer to sit and play video games or watch television than engage in activities involving movement. This can cause a number of problems for physical and mental health, as movement is critical for brain and body development.
In the video I share some quick tips for getting kids to stay active during the day:
- Provide structure and options for physical activity. Many kids complain that they don’t know what to do, are bored, or can’t come up with ideas of physical activities they can do. Parents can address this issue by providing a list of options such as walking, riding bikes, playing four square, swinging, or other age-appropriate activities. If the kids are having trouble coming up with an idea on their own they can refer to the list to make a choice.
- Require that they engage in physical activity before doing the less active things they may want to do. They can ride bikes, play basketball, or take a walk before being allowed to sit down to watch television or play on the computer. Parents may want to institute this policy a few times during the day to ensure that kids are active throughout their waking hours.
- Get out there and move with them! Kids benefit from the role modeling of parents, and if we are active then they are more likely to be active. Engaging in activities like walking or riding bikes together not only supports everyone’s health, but provides great opportunities for communicating and building relationships.
However you decide to encourage physical activity, the important thing is that children are up and moving throughout the day. Work on increasing the amount of physical activity for everyone to support health brains and bodies for the entire family!
Thanks for watching! If you have any comments or questions, please share them with me in the comments section below.