Helping Kids Live a Healthy Lifestyle

With technologies continually rising, almost every activity in modern life is connected with the Internet, gadgetry and other computer-age advancements. But are the days of activity and sweat-breaking exercise for kids really lost in today’s fast paced life? Fitness and kids can still come together, in spite of all the high-tech toys. So how can we make sure that kids understand why they need fitness and help them learn to enjoy it?

Is there a need for exercise for kids?

Being overweight and/or obese is no longer confined to adults and old age. In the US alone, 1 out of 3 children are either overweight or obese. And this ratio is increasing at an alarming rate every year. This percentage can be accounted to the shortage or total loss of effective fitness and kids programs.

The weight problems kids are facing as youth will affect them not only now, but as they grow into adulthood. They will continue suffer from adverse health, a poor self image, and obesity issues. However, if parents and guardians could teach children enjoyable exercises now, then their lives, both physiologically and socially, can still be saved.

Can fitness and kids still mesh together?

It is possible to teach kids a love of fitness, if it is approached in the right way. As a parent or guardian, you must understand the value of fitness for yourself so you can easily introduce the appropriate physical health program to your children. First of all, fitness is not merely a set of exercises. You must include proper diet, hygiene and emotional health in their daily lives. Fitness and healthy living must become a lifestyle

Fitness and kids can easily work together if there is the fun factor. Explain to them the benefits of each activity as you introduce them. Start by being an example, and encourage your children to join in. Soon you will have a fun, family fitness program where you will be building healthy bodies and a great relationship!

How to get started with your own fitness and kids program

Indulge in outdoor activities. When was the last time you and the kids went to the park? Revive the thrill of camping trips, hiking, biking and other similar adventures. Make it a habit to run together, play jumping rope and boxing and being involved in interactive sports at least twice a week.

Give your family diet a makeover, with the kids help. Let them help plan healthy foods and make sure you incorporate their choices. Make sure that fruits, vegetables and other nutritious sources are part of your daily diet and teach your kids about why they are important.

By creating a family fitness plan, you can help your entire family become healthier. In the process you will find a family that is stronger physically, mentally and emotionally.

Family Fitness Tips

Harvey Howard is the owner of My Gym Children’s Fitness Center in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He is a certified special education teacher, elementary teacher, guidance counselor, and student assistance professional located in New Jersey. Here is explains how parents can get their kids to enjoy being physically activity.

If you want to get your kid active in fitness, the way to do it is by being active yourself. The more a family engages in group walks, bike rides, or other fitness activities as a unit, the more a child is going to see that behavior and want to model it. For an emerging, developing family, group fitness outings are an important part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

Children see how their parents feel about fitness, and because they absorb everything, they will notice that. So, for example, a mom may take her child to soccer practice and instead of sitting down or just watching, she may decide to jog around the field while the kids are practicing. I have seen this happen. And the message that activity sends to the child is that fitness is important. You, as a parent, are telling your child that while he is playing soccer, you are going to use that time for physical activity yourself rather than just sitting there watching. You are showing them—and also telling them—that developing your own fitness opportunities is important as well. And while they may not 100% grasp that concept right now, they are absorbing it and that will come into play later in life.

There is also the parent who jogs while pushing his child in a stroller. Once again, this is showing that exercise is something that is important to Daddy. And at the same time, the kid is also seeing the sights while his dad is running. The child is having his own personal, positive experience in the middle of his father’s exercise program by being able to see things he might not otherwise get the chance to see. And like I have said before, kids are going to want to copy whatever they see their parents doing, so this is a natural lead in to a future interest in exercise down the road.

Participating in activities as a family is important, as well. If a kid starts out riding in a stroller while his mom or dad pushes him along, he will get to the point where he is riding a bike alongside Mom and Dad while they are jogging. Eventually, maybe he will be riding a bigger bike. And then, when he can start jogging on his own, he might start doing that. Parents can slow down a bit to go at the child’s pace, but the point is this is a group activity. So the entire family is outside, having fun, bonding, and getting fit at the same time. That is what family fitness really is about.

Whether you are canoeing, or kayaking, or any other physical activity, these things should … Read More