The article followed with a list of the top ten ways to get your kids living a more active and healthy lifestyle. I've copied the list below and hope you all take note!
10. Sign up for summer sports camps.
- sports burn lots of calories
- are fun, kids do them long periods of time
- develop their bodies for adulthood
9. Schedule daily evening family walks.
- will develop a habit that they can carry on into the future
- develops family time and cohesiveness
8. Give them active jobs: paper route, snow shoveling, grass cutting, chores.
- a chance to earn spending money, motivation to work
7. Don’t let kids walk all over you, you are the boss.
- Don’t drive kids to school that is two blocks away
- Say no to lazing around the house.
6. Do the walk and groom program at your local humane society.
- get exercise and develop compassion and volunteer skills
- kids love animals
5. Build a backyard obstacle course.
- Be creative, develop cooperation with your children
- Use anything available ( saw horse, hoola hoops, tires, ropes, balls,etc
4. Set limits on T.V time, computer usage, video games and cell phones.
- Do not allow television or computer in their room only in open areas
- Only allow cell phones for emergency use
- Keep video games to only a couple hours per week.
3. Be a positive role model.
- Kids will follow the foot steps of the parent
- If you make exercise part of your life the greater chance your child will
2. Plan physically active holidays like camping.
- Develop outdoor skills while burning calories
- So much to do (hike, rock climb, bike, kayak)
1. Go play with them.
- Just spend time with your children, play catch
- Let the kids pick a physical activity for the family to engage in
- Gives them a chance to be involved and lead the family to better health
I think the most important one on the list is number #3. I think being an active parent and showing kids, by example, how health and fitness are crucial to life, will make the biggest difference. If you tried a "do as I say and not as I do" approach, ie: if you sent your kids to camp to be active while you sat on your couch watching T.V and eating potato chips, I think you would end up disappointed with the outcome.
It's summer, so it's a great time to start a new family routine! Get out there with your kids and enjoy some healthy and active adventures!