As a parent you always want the best for your kids, especially when it comes to their health. Everywhere you look nowadays there are so many headlines about the obesity epidemic among children and kids are having to face situations such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and so many other complications regarding their health. All these problems that weren’t necessarily dealt with among children when we were growing up can really be daunting when raising a child.
It’s extremely important for parents to be good role models for their kids and it’s also a parent’s responsibility to educate and ensure that their kids are living a healthy lifestyle. If you’ve been wondering how you can get your kids to become more active in their day-to-day lives, I’m going to be sharing some tips and activities that you can easily add into your routine.
I know the term “hike” can seem pretty intimidating, especially if you’re trying to get your kids to participate. Trust me, hiking can be so enjoyable and educational for kids. You don’t need to be hiking the Appalachian trail, any park or trail near your house will do! All you need is a pair of running shoes and you’ll be set.
Hiking can easily be modified to fit any fitness level and will allow your kids to get outside and experience nature. They can spot different birds, bugs and other animals and it will give them a sense of adventure without having to go too far from home.
There are so many different sports teams out there for kids! Participating in organized sports can help your kid pick up a hobby that they are really passionate about such as soccer, cheerleading or basketball. Being part of a team will give them a sense of purpose and help them socialize outside of school. Organized sports will also help them build some friendly competition skills and allow them to experience what it’s like to work together as a team.
While you can’t necessarily participate with them, you can always be on the sidelines supporting them or practicing with them on off days. I know most physical education classes in schools let them try out a variety of sports, so ask them if there was one that they particularly enjoyed and see if there are any organized teams for that sport in your area.
Teaching your kids how to ride a bike is a pretty important life skill. Not only is it great for coordination and balance, but it will also give them a means of transportation and independence.
Going on bike rides around the neighbourhood is a great way to bond and be active at the same time. Biking with them to school or their friends house is also way more environmentally friendly than driving and it also allows them to get some exercise in before a school day or a play date. By teaching them to use a bike as a means of transportation rather than a car, they will learn to be more conscious about the environment and will learn that even simple changes can help.
Like learning how to bike, learning how to swim is a valuable life skill. Even if you don’t have the luxury of a backyard pool, head out to a nearby public pool or beach or any body of water suitable for swimming.
The great thing about swimming is that there are so many different things kids can do with it. They can pursue lifeguarding courses, take up various water sports or they can swim competitively. It’s a great, low impact sport that increases strength and cardiovascular endurance. Swimming is usually a summer activity but you’ll probably be surprised at the number of public indoor pools there are in your area that are accessible in the colder months.
Gardening is an extremely rewarding and educational activity. It can be done in your own backyard, or within a community garden. Either way, you can spend time with your kids and teach them about how different vegetables, fruits or flowers grow.
Even if you choose to partake in a community garden they can meet other kids in the area and can benefit from the social aspect. Gardening will give them a better idea about the farm to table method of eating. They will be more open to trying new vegetables because I’m sure they will be curious about how what they’re growing tastes. It’s also a great way to get your kids outdoors and even in the colder months it can be done in a greenhouse. It’s a great activity that can help them be in touch with nature.
Helen Sanders is chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.