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6 Tips for Couch-Potato Kids

6 Tips for Couch-Potato Kids

Childhood obesity is fast becoming a nationwide epidemic resulting in weight related diseases which normally only occur in adults such as type II diabetes and heart disease. It is expected, if this trend continues, that the current generation of children will have a shorter lifespan than the previous generation. While new government initiatives and school programs can help, true change begins at home. The following are some ways to get your children out of the house and back in shape.

1. Lead By Example

Children from the earliest age learn their behaviors by mimicking their parents actions. Whether it is brushing their teeth or putting away their toys, a child's only frame of reference for what to do comes from a parent. The easiest step to take when addressing your child's health is to start eating better and exercising more yourself.

2. Family Togetherness

Undertaking activities such as hiking or cycling provides not only exercise but an opportunity to bond with your children. Many parents, as their children get older, lament the fact that they don't spend nearly as much time together. Watching a movie and eating pizza is not quality time but playing basketball and going fishing can provide activity as well as memories.

3. Limit TV Time

While it is true there are a number of great educational programs on television, the vast majority of time children are playing video games or watching reality TV shows. Much like the food they eat, TV time should be limited in consumption and moderation should be stressed. Video game play should be limited to a few hours per day once homework is done and after that they should be outside playing.

4. Be A Good Sport

Nature walks and hiking may not be every child's idea of time well spent. Instead, consider getting them involved in athletic activities at school or in the community. If you start early enough with Little League or soccer, then you develop a pattern of incorporating athletics into daily activities from an early age.

5. Outdoor Adventure

The outdoors offer more opportunities than just the classic hiking and camping. Many state and national parks specialize in, or at least offer, certain outdoor activities like fly fishing, mountain climbing and archery. Any activity that is even remotely exciting or can be tied to a recent popular movie is likely to peak their interest.

6. Think Outside...

Even if your children show no interest in athletics or nature, that doesn't mean all hope is lost. If you're desperate to get them out of the house, try using video games like Wii Sports to get them interested in golf, volleyball or bowling and then transition that to the real-life equivalent. The more creative you are, the more likely you are to be successful in getting your kids active.

Image by: Banalities