With the invention of technology has come an increase in childhood diseases like diabetes, heart problems, and tendonitis. This is greatly due to the fact that children are now spending more time sitting in front of a television or computer screen than they are outside riding their bikes, running, jumping, and climbing. If your kid is a technology junky the best thing you can do for their current and future health is get them off of the couch and moving. Here are a few suggestions to help you get them moving.
Turn Exercise into a Family Affair
Children mimic what they see the adults in their life doing. By incorporating a daily workout regimen into your family’s time together you instill a sense of importance in regards to maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle.
Exercising as a family doesn’t mean you have to all be taking turns on a treadmill, or seeing who can lift the most weight, although kids love to compete with their parents. Try creating a family softball, kickball, or tennis team and sign up with one of the local recreational leagues. This promotes family camaraderie while keeping the whole family physically active.
If you’re not into sports, there are also family outings that incorporate exercises such as hiking, bicycling, and skiing. These are all excellent cardiovascular activities that also stimulate bonding while spending time as a family.
Make Working out a Competition
Kids love to prove they are better at something than their parents are. Challenge your child to do specific exercises a specific number of times per week, or set a goal of running a certain distance by a deadline. Then turn it into a friendly competition where you are attempting to complete the challenge before they do. This will motivate your child to do their exercises on their own as they attempt to complete the challenge before you. You must show an effort to compete though for this to work.
Set Technology Limitations
Set-up house and family rules that dictate exactly how much T.V. and computer, or electronics time your children are allowed per day or per week outside of school work. This instills the philosophy that technology has a place and a time, and should not be a 24/7 activity.
If your children have video game time, mandate that they play games that require movement like the latest Leap Frog, or Wii interactive games that make the players jump around, dance, and swing their arms in order to accomplish the game’s goals.
Provide Fun Physical Activities at Home
Items like trampolines, air hockey tables, and basketball hoops turn exercise into fun and all kids love fun. These kinds of equipment induce cardio exercise under the guise of playing. By providing these types of games and equipment at home, you give your children the resources to stay physically active without realizing that is what they are doing.
Getting your technology driven child off of the sofa and back into the physically active world of exercise is a challenge that many parents face in this technologically enthralled world that we live in. However, by implementing a few strategic maneuvers through technology rules, games that promote physical movement, and turning exercise into a family affair your child will be up and moving in no time.