request info email to friend
Ways to Get Kids Up and Moving
Kids are spending more time in front of a screen – whether that is a TV, a computer, a video game system or a phone – and less time just running around. That is leading to increasing rates of childhood obesity. So how can you encourage children to start moving?
NBC.com has some suggestions:
- Reward them. Set up a system in which you award points for activities. The activities should be geared to the age and interests of the children. Then, when they have accumulated enough points, they can choose a small prize. This can work especially well if you have more than one child, because it can tap into the natural competitiveness of children.
- Try team sports. Talk to your kids about signing up for a team. Most sports have teams for young athletes of all ages and abilities. See if any of your kid’s friends are on a team, and ask your child if he or she would like to play, too. Having a friend on a team can make the experience more fun – and provide help with the car-pooling.
- Look for activities that seem more like fun than exercise. Your child probably won’t think of wall-climbing or jumping on a trampoline as exercise, but it is. So is running around the back yard with the dog, or having an impromptu dance party.
- Set up family challenges. For example, keep track of how much everyone in the family is active every day. Then, at the end of the week, the person who was most active gets a prize, like being able to choose the menu for dinner. Or see how many laps of a track everyone can walk in 10 minutes. Then, after a month or so, see how much everyone has improved. The person who has improved the most is the winner.
- Be a good role model. Kids catch on pretty quickly if you are always telling them to get some exercise but you never leave the couch. Let them see that you make time for exercise and make it a regular part of your routine. You also can exercise together. Older children might want to accompany you to the gym. Younger kids might want to do a little yoga with you in the morning or before bed. And family hikes and bike rides are a great way to get outside together. A side benefit is that your kids might talk to you more if you are together doing something instead of together on separate screens.