Couch… to Athlete: How to Keep Your Children Active

Let’s face it, electronics are taking over and fewer children are playing outside. We all know that staying active is important for preventing health problems such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, but beyond that, it helps improve mood and sleep, and builds strong muscles and bones. In fact, children ages 6 and over need at least an hour of physical activity every day.

If your tween doesn’t like sports, you may be at a loss as to what to do to get him or her off the couch. Encouraging kids and teens to be active provides them with the skills they need to stay active later in life, so here are 5 ways to get those kids moving!

  1. KEEP THE ACTIVITIES FUN! If the kids don’t like playing baseball in the backyard, then it may be hard to convince them to get off the couch to do so. Don’t force them to do something they don’t enjoy. Even if it’s raining, there are still plenty of ways to stay active. Turn up their music and get everyone dancing!
  2. GET INVOLVED. It’s hard to convince children to do something that you won’t do. Choose activities, such as taking family walks, throwing a Frisbee, or playing tag, that you can get involved in too. Not only does it get the children moving, but it gives you more quality family time as well. This one is a win-win!
  3. INVITE FRIENDS. If you’re taking your child to the park, the pool, or any other active place, encourage your child to bring a friend or a neighbor. Kids love spending time with their friends!
  4. ESTABLISH A ROUTINE. This one is important! You don’t have to schedule every minute of your child’s day, but putting your foot down and saying they need to spend an hour doing something active every day isn’t a bad thing. If you tell them that every Sunday is for family hikes and after dinner you take a walk around the neighborhood, then that will quickly become a routine.
  5. TRIAL AND ERROR. Chances are you won’t find an activity that your child loves right away, but trying many different activities such as swimming, karate, or dance, gives them the option to say if they love it or hate it.

Every child has unique interests, so if you keep searching, you’ll find the best activities for your child!

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