Encouraging Children To Be Active

{flickr|100|campaign} It is extremely important to teach and raise children that are active throughout the day and learn to be healthy. Childhood obesity has overrun America, and one of the major factors that cause it is a lack of encouragement by parents when it comes to informing their children about healthy habits.

Childhood and adolescence is a prime time for bodily growth and development; it is when the limbs, muscles and organs are preparing themselves for adulthood. This period of growth is made better when kids eat a healthy diet and increase their strength through fitness.

Some may not see this as enjoyable or fun; exercising and eating foods that are good for the body may make some youngsters cringe. However, it is up to the parents to be the example and help them to maintain a healthy weight and level of energy.

The main way that you can do this is by making fitness and health fun. It does not have to be a dreaded part of the day that your child does their best to avoid.

Physical activity is a healthy habit that should be enjoyed and not feared. There are many things that parents can to do increase activity in their kids and get them moving.

You, yourself, should be the main example; choose action and outdoor activity over stagnant things like television, computers, and video games. Though these may be fun to play and participate in, it will be best for you to put them to the side and get outdoors for some movement and exercise.

If you must go to the store, why not have your child come on a walk there with you? Choose walking and cycling over your vehicles, take the stairs instead of an elevator, and do household chores like mowing the “hard” way.

Not only will you set a great example for youth, but you are likely to notice a difference in your body and level of energy, as well. Make sure that you tell your child how much you enjoy exercise.

Do not mope or laze about after your workout; be positive and tell your child how great your body feels. Let them know the emotions you feel when you try to be active.

This will help them associate activity and exercise with positive emotions like happiness and energy, as opposed to tiredness and grumpiness. You can even include them or plan something specifically around them.

Children love to be involved in games and sports with their parents; try to play or get moving at least once a day. They will love the attention and really appreciate the time that you are able to spend together.

You will be able to increase your fitness and your bond with one another. Get them off the couch and take them to the playground or a basketball court; then, challenge them to a game or make one up yourselves.

It is extremely important to offer your youngster praise and positive reinforcement; make note of their efforts, instead of results. Having patience and optimism when they try new things or participate in sports will help them to feel comfortable and successful.

Acknowledge how hard they are trying and tell them how glad you are that they are taking initiative. This will help those that are inactive to become better and those that are already active to feel a sense of self-worth and accomplishment.

Noticing good things that they do out loud and addressing them will help them to be cognitive of positive choices. You can even let them showcase a new talent or skill to friends and family.

When your child does develop new talents, ask them if they will teach you. Showing an earnestness to learn and an interest in their hobbies may just assist them in becoming great at it.

It is essential that you do not discourage active children; do not use exercise or activity as a punishment. This includes making them do push-ups for bad grades.

Also, offering food as positive reinforcement, like candies and sweets, may cause them to think that making poor eating habits is alright. It may also teach them that food can change their mood, because their sadness, happiness, or concern is masked with a treat.

Use hugs and praise, instead, and your youngster will feel just as special! Lack of fitness, exercise, and healthy eating in children can be detrimental to their future; make sure that you are instilling good habits now while they are young.