If one parent is overweight, there is a 50% chance that their children will be overweight. Couch potato kids: how to get your kids excited about fitness. There are some indicators that you have a couch potato kid in your home if:
- Bored all the time.
- Gaining weight.
- Don’t sleep well at night.
Sitting six hours a day increases your chances of chronic disease. Too much sitting increases you chances of weight gain and high cholesterol. These are adult problems, you think. But it is getting to be a problem for those at a younger and younger age. Now is the time to get the kids off the couch!
#1 Make Fitness Fun
Growing school-age children should have 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day. Activities like running and jumping, build bones, and activities like climbing builds muscles.
If we want fitness to be fun, it should be fun for kids too. Young children like to mimic their parent’s behaviors. If they see us enjoying life in an active positive way, they will think that is cool and want to be active too!
It is Always More Fun with a Friend in Tow!
Climbing, chasing, running, swinging is always more fun with friends. Let them bring a friend along to go to the park for a picnic. Kids love to hang out with their peers. Make fitness a part of your family routine, and what better way than inviting your friends along.
#2 Build Fitness into Your Reward System
Encourage your kids that when their homework is done, they can go play a game of kickball, or go ice skating.
If they want something special, tell them you will grant them their wish when they come back from a bike ride, a walk, or a game of soccer. Or give them a series of events to perform in order to get a large reward. I.e., when baseball season or hockey practices are over, they can go on a camping trip.
#3 Exercise with Them
Getting a workout with your kids does not need to be complicated. It should be fun. With the parents undivided attention with them on a mutually interesting activity, that alone should get the couch potato kid excited about fitness.
- Do Bear Crawls, with feet and hands flat on the floor, race your way across the floor to the finish line.
- Exercise during commercials- do jumping jacks, push-ups, burpees, or squats.
- Go on bike rides, swimming, plan skiing trips, go ice skating, or sledding.
- Go camping. Teach them age-appropriate skills like setting up a tent, building a fire. Teach them cooking over a campfire. No barbecue grills here.
#4 Informal Exercise
For the pre-teen child, running around, riding a bike, climbing, playing on the monkey bars, playing tug-of-war, hopping, skipping, and jumping, all help develop the brain.
For the child to plan and develop their own course of action during play, is all a part of brain development to improve the more complex skills of problem-solving as they develop later in life.
Organized sports have their place, but it is good for children to have downtime where they are not under pressure to perform.
There are many opportunities to keep children active. Let you kid decide what type of exercise meets their needs and personality type. Not all children are highly competitive. See that they are having fun while being active.
#5 Team Sports
You may need to invest in a baseball glove and bat, a pair of ice skates or a soccer ball. But it is worth the investment.
#6 Sign Up for Non-Profit Activities
Many Non-profits organize walks and marathons to drive donations to a worthy cause. They may have t-ball or soccer games. Kids love to socialize and have fun together.
#7 Learn about Nature.
Get them Bird Guidebooks
so they learn the variety of birds in the great out of doors. Look for different nests in the fall and winter when the leaves are off the trees. Learn the habits of the birds, (ground feeders or woodpeckers). You just might want to invest in a good pair of binoculars.
Get them Tree Guidebooks
to learn the name of different trees, the shape of their leaves, the flowering trees, if they have cones. help them identify them. It will bond the family together to go exploring on hikes like this.
Look at the Sky.
Get Guidebooks to learn the star constellations, and planets. Set up a mock-up of the solar system at home… on their bedroom ceiling! You just might want a telescope to get a better view.
#8 Learn to Do Some Artwork Together
Explore art together as family bonding time. Children love to have their parent’s undivided attention when they are doing things. With the right sources you can all learn to draw. It does not have to be perfect, and you can get some laughs and family down-time.
Move around. Being on your feet is healthier than just sitting still. You burn 60 more calories an hour if you are on your feet than if you are sitting.
Explore New Avenues of Expressing Yourselves.
- Pencil Drawing
- Ink Drawing
- Hand Lettering
Couch Potato Kids: How to Get Your Kids Excited about Fitness
#9 Virtual Tech is Here to Stay
Virtual technology is not going away anytime soon, so why not use it to your advantage. For couch potato kids use the tech that they love already, to get your kids excited about fitness.
There are video games available to get your kids up and dancing or participating in other games.
There are so many ways to exercise with games on both old and new systems. Not everyone can workout at the gym, and there are some video games available that will actually make you sweat.
The WII as well as the Nintendo Switch have such physical digital games that you can investigate.
#10 Start with a Healthy Breakfast
Start the day with a healthy breakfast. Include protein to keep kids going all morning. Studies have shown that students study better and do well in school when they have something nutritious to eat in the morning. When you keep nutrients from all the food groups in your diet you keep kids’ bodies well maintained so they don’t feel sluggish.
Benefits of Physical Activity
There are plenty of benefits of physical activity.
- Exercise is a way to get you to relax.
- Improved mood makes children pleasant to be around.
- Boosts their energy level and reinvigorates the child.
- Helps them stay at a good body weight, with good BMI and muscle tone.
- They learn teamwork.
- May develop leadership skills.
- Makes them feel on the same level as their peers.
- Gives them more confidence in their own abilities.
Children should have 60 minutes of vigorous exercise each day. The Center for Disease Control suggests that only 25% of children reach that goal.
Studies show that active kids are smarter kids. Active play teaches kids to problem solve. The ability to problem-solve will help them develop into well functioning adults.
Allow your children the freedom to run, jump, and play each day. Couch potato kids: how to get your kids excited about fitness. If your kids see you enjoying an active daily lifestyle, they will mimic you and want to be fit and active as well.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.