Some people say that parenting was much easier in the past. Some of us can recall our own childhood, when streets are safe, and parents can let their children run freely through the neighbourhood, and of course their bodies are naturally moving as they are out there playing.
These days, however, the story is much different. Apart from the warnings that send parents into a wave of paranoia, other changes also result in children having less physical activity. As one netizen puts it “before the slam of the car door fades and the backpack drops on the floor, the TV is switched on and the last few hours of daylight disappear in a haze of video games and over processed snack foods.”
While this was initially based on anecdotal evidence, there is now some studies which back it up. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States have come out to publicly state that the health of too many North Americans is in danger because of unhealthy lifestyles. This would probably be the same in the rest of the western world too.
The main driving forces behind these trend are the marketing genius of the advertising industry and the instant gratification that TV and video games present. It is no wonder that in the United States, 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older – over 60 million people – are obese. As for young people specifically, it is reported that the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980.
The good news is that parents can lead the charge of their kids’ battle with the bulge. Before you get disheartened, just remember that exercise comes in many forms and can be a lot of fun! With a little creativity, you can easily add some fun physical activity into your parenting style. Here are some tips for you:
One: Lead By Example
Do as a say, not as I do, right? Wrong! If you want your kids to see the benefit of a healthy lifestyle, you have to do it yourself too! Kids, especially younger children, naturally follow their parents. So make sure you are looking after your own health and making physical activity a priority in your life. Subscribing to this blog is a good first step.
Two: Live It Out Together
This ties in with the first point. And it does make sense. It is all too easy these days for different family members to lead different lives. However, this is not the best, and not just from the viewpoint of fitness and health either. Try to spend quality time with your children – and have this as a general rule.
Three: Fun Times!
Yes, we do have to bust the myth that all exercise is boring. If you have this mindset, you’re never gong to become healthy. Some ideas include dancing, playing tag, and even activities like roller skating. Part of our lament is that children have stopped knowing how to play outdoors. Well, you have a chance to change that!
Four: Positive Reinforcement
This one, like the second point, is a general rule you should follow. When you do see your kids involve in sports, you should always endeavour to lift them up by being encouraging and supporting as well. This way, they will be more motivated in their sport, and your bond with them will be closer too! Yes, here at Granite Fitness, we are very holistic and somewhat existential too.
Five: Limit Screen Time
Easier said than done, huh? It is true that these days there are so many things that require screen time. While it is impossible to completely shut them off, it would be a good idea to limit them. And yes, this may apply to you too! Basically, the trick with this is to work screen-based hobbies around the essential tasks in life, such as homework and chores.
Okay, hope these have been helpful. Remember that incorporating physical activity into your family’s routine will help you all feel better and live more healthily. And remember that your aim for this is to instill lifelong habits and healthy attitudes toward exercise and physical activity in your children. All the best!
Mark is an all-rounded guy with dreams, aspirations, and a desire to be a better version of himself. Having conquered obesity, he set-up Granite Fitness to help regular people get in shape and stay healthy. As of 2023, Mark spends his days as a People and Culture Manager. He holds three science degrees, a Diploma of Christian counselling, a Diploma of Human Resources, and a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety. Connect with Mark @ http://au.linkedin.com/in/marksptan