What was it like to parent forty years ago?
As a parent, I want to raise my children in a world in which streets are safe and parents are able to let their kids roam free. This will enable them to feel the challenge of exercise through play.
We squander the last few hours of daylight playing video games and devouring overprocessed snack foods. The backpack drops to the floor before the slam of the car door fades into the background.
Despite their best efforts, even the most kind and caring parents find it difficult to compete with the marketing wizardry and instant gratification of modern life. Xboxes, SpongeBob and potato chips make it hard for carrot sticks and exercise to compete.
We live in a world filled with proof. A lack of healthy lifestyles has put the health of too many North Americans at risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/about-obesity/index.html)
Over 60 million American adults 20 years of age and older are obese, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Child overweight rates have tripled since 1980, according to the CDC.
Why should I be concerned if my kids are not obese?
What about your kids? They seem normal, right? You’re doing a good job as a parent. Walking is becoming increasingly rare in a world where schools are cutting physical education. This is because cars, elevators, and buses deprive us of the chance to exercise naturally. Therefore, we should make a concerted effort to encourage our children and ourselves to take part in physical activity.
While being physically active has many benefits, most Americans are sedentary. (https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/causes.html). A child who is inactive is likely to become an inactive adult. (https://www.heart.org/?identifier=4596)
As parents, how can we encourage our children to move?
In order to ensure childhood health, the American Heart Association recommends that adolescents and children participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.
In addition to the many benefits of exercise, it can actually be a great deal of fun! Physical activity can be incorporated easily into your parenting styles by using creativity.
1. Lead by example
Setting a good example is important. Children, particularly young children, naturally imitate their parents. You should therefore make fitness a priority in your life and take care of your own health.
2. Make it a team effort
Our children deserve quality time with us, especially in today’s busy world. Playing together is an excellent way to spend quality time together. Parents need to play with their children since they can’t roam the neighborhood alone.
3. Have fun with it
Get up and dance to some music. Try playing tag. Ride a skateboard. Just have fun. You can help them stay active and have fun by providing them with toys and equipment that encourages movement.
Sports equipment will get your kids active, such as bicycles, scooters, hockey sticks, and baseball bats. For preschoolers, ride-on toys that keep them active, like big wheels, pedal cars, and trikes, are always a great parenting choice.
4. Be a cheerleader
Encouragement and support are positive reinforcements. Encourage them to take part in sports that build their self-esteem. No matter what happens, show them you’re their biggest fan by attending their sporting events.
5. Unplug it
It is important to limit the amount of time our kids spend watching TV and playing video games. Be sure to limit their screen time constructively. They might not be too enthusiastic about rollerblading with you if they are angry at you for turning off their favorite show.
If possible, schedule screen time in the evening or on Saturday morning when exhausted parents might need to catch a few more minutes of sleep after homework is finished.
Your family will feel better if you all include more physical activity in your routine. You will also have more fun together. By modeling a healthy lifestyle, you will sow the seeds of healthy habits and healthy attitudes towards exercise and physical activity in your children.
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