Encouraging Our Children To Get Fit.

Vixx By Vixx, 6th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Exercise & Fitness

How can we encourage our children to get fitter and exercise?

Family fitness?

With the issues involving child obesity becoming an ever-present issue in today’s society, anything that can help our children to help take care of their health is vitally important. However, the main thought that can spring to mind is child safety. Many parents are understandably concerned about letting their children out of sight in today’s ever-changing society. So what can we do to encourage them to play in a manner that will allow a level of fitness to develop?

With the pace of life becoming ever faster many parents may feel that they are pressed for time, and may even feel a little guilty that supervised play time for the children often gets pushed down the to-do list the older they are. While the schedule may require a little reworking, one way to encourage active playtime could be through networking with other parents in order to allow some group play time, with parents taking it in turn to supervise the children whilst the other parents run a few errands, or even take time to do some activities themselves! If there is a park nearby, the children can play football or catch – and thus run off some of that exuberant energy that they seem to have in abundance at that age. Parents should feel free to join in wherever possible – it provides a great role model for the children to follow as well as creating fitness from within. Greater fitness allows for a much improved quality of life.

In my role as a personal trainer, I meet many people who wish to get fit, for many different reasons. I have one client who is a single parent, and her child actually joins in too where possible. I encourage this where it is safe to do so as I feel that it is providing a great example to the child, who sees his mom enjoying her fitness sessions, and wants to be a part of it too. She has fun and gets fit and he wants to see how much he can do alongside his mom. I even tailor some of the exercises to him as I feel it is important for children to be encouraged wherever possible to be active as it will serve them well as they get older.

Although Personal Training may seem an expensive luxury, many personal trainers will offer special discounts and group rates to train more than one person at a time. I personally do not offer the ‘gym experience’, preferring instead to encourage those who do not like the gym by offering a service tailored to them – in their own home or local environment. Parents do not need a childminder and can enjoy their training in a situation that they are comfortable with. And if the children want to join in – then so much the better!

Children also tend to follow the example that is set to them by their immediate family, friends and the people that they see most of (e.g. teachers), and if these people are active, and do things that they enjoy that keep them moving, then they are more likely to copy these people as they go with what they see. If their nearest examples are inactive and slothful, then they too are likely to be listless and inactive as they are not being stimulated to be doing fun activities. Therefore, by being active yourself as best as you can your child will also be encouraged to be doing things that are fun and energetic and that will give them a good basis for them to keep activity as a regular thing, rather than the odd burst of activity followed by long periods in front of the television, which is not good for the body in the long term. Our children learn from us and the example that we set to them – so let us all make our examples the best that they can be!

Children need constant stimulation, and appear to have abundant energy reserves. They will tell you when they are tired or if they need to rest or have a drink. Therefore, you can always pick activities that can be done by the whole family – a walk in the park for example, or maybe take a Frisbee or a ball and play catch. It doesn’t have to be high octane stuff, just things that everyone will enjoy. Staying energised does not have to mean hard work and sweating is the answer. Little and often works just as well for exercise as it can for eating. Trying to do too much at once will just leave you feeling that it is an insurmountable mountain to climb, so little and often will be a great start and build up your fitness as well as keeping the kids active.

Tags

Children, Exercise, Family, Fit, Health, Kids

Meet the author

author avatar Vixx
I like to write about fitness, nutrition, my running efforts and race reviews.

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Comments

author avatar Penny W-T
6th May 2013 (#)

This is certainly a topic that has relevance and importance for today's society. Schools need to focus on general fitness as well.

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author avatar Vixx
31st May 2013 (#)

Thank you :D

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author avatar Kingwell
6th May 2013 (#)

A wonderful read and a great topic.

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author avatar Vixx
31st May 2013 (#)

Thank you Kingwell.

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author avatar Eileen Ward Birch
31st May 2013 (#)

good thinking

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author avatar Vixx
31st May 2013 (#)

Thank you Eileen.

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