5 Tips for Fitter Kids
Today, one in three kids are overweight or obese and those numbers are increasing. So it ‘ll come as no surprise that 75.2% of those between ages 3 and 15 do not get 60 minutes of the recommended daily exercise. Here are some tips on how to get your kids exercising - even if they say they hate it.
According to a recent study 58% of teenagers aged 12-15 are not cardiorespiratory fit – 10% increase compared to 10 years ago.
It seems like yesterday when you couldn’t get kids home in time for tea after a summer day of sports, high adventure and roaming the streets on their bikes or skateboards.
Okay, so maybe that’s a little idealistically nostalgic but still there’s no reason teenagers shouldn’t get enough exercise. If you’re looking to help your child/children add fitness to his or her life here's a few ideas:
1. Lead by example
No offense but it’s awfully hard to judge a kid slouching on the couch when you’re watch him or her from your armchair. Get up! Teenagers may seem like they’re not interested in what you say and do but believe us when you go for a jog or hammer out a round of T25, they’re watching.
2. Limit screen time
It’s next to impossible to make most teenagers do anything. It’s much easier, however, to make them not do some things. Set TV times. Limit Xbox and PlayStation access. Create non-texting hours. Once these limitations are in place the outside world may seem more interesting.
3. Pick a sport, any sport
Your kids may not be into the traditional sports but the world of sports is a very wide one, rock climbing, kayaking, surfing, cycling, roller skating, rugby, cricket, running etc... Let your son or daughter’s imagination run wild. Get them to make a list and then go on the internet to see if there’s a league/team/camp in your area. Consider that sports can be adapted, you don’t need to join a team just encourage your child to find friends who are willing to play. eg. touch rugby, street cricket, climbing trees, bike rides, etc… it all counts.
4. Invest in cool toys
You may not be made of money but your kid’s health is a much better investment than the new iWhatever. Everything can be modified eg. If you live too far from the sea to surf buy a balance board. (lots of fun and it’s really good for their core muscles). Maybe start the ball rolling by looking into fun fitness-based software that you can do together on the game console. eBay’s a great place to start searching for stuff.
5. Plan active outings
This one basically combines the previous four elements. Keep it simple like a picnic instead of going to the pizza place. You can go big like a day at the swimming baths. You can go creative like a scavenger hunt. If you’re at a loss for ideas and/or on a budget check out www.groupon.co.uk or www.livingsocial.co.uk for local affordable adventures you may not have thought of.