Obesity is a huge problem in today’s society. 35% of adults in America are obese, and 17% of children, which is three times more than one generation ago. It’s easy to see why. Children today are surrounded by junk food. We all eat on the go, quickly and without thought. Sweet treats and high-fat snacks are often cheaper and more readily available than healthier alternatives. Then, these same children are significantly less likely to be out in parks playing from dawn until dusk. Instead, they spend their free time sat playing on computers and games consoles.
Of course, this isn’t all bad. Technology and the internet is very much a part of the world now. Our children need to grow up comfortable using these devices to help them in the future, and it’s important that we recognize that the world has changed. But, when this excessive screen time starts to affect our children’s weight, health and happiness, something needs to be done.
The best way to encourage your children to be more active is to do it together. Put your own phone down and have some fun with your kids. It’ll do you all the world of good. Here are some ideas to help you get going.
Go for a Walk
It’s recommended that adults do 10000 steps a day. This might sound like a lot, but one good walk a day can easily get you there. Suggest going for a walk with your kids, and their first thought might be “boring”. So, find ways to make it more fun. Buy a metal detector, read about how metal detectors work and go on a treasure hunt together. Or, spend some time creating your own scavenger hunt. This is a great chance to explore and get some exercise, but it also gives you a chance to bond away from home distractions and devices.
Get a Ball
Do you remember the sheer joy of playing with a ball in the park when you were a kid? Don’t let your children miss out on this joy. Get a ball, head to your local park or even your garden and have some fun kicking a ball around. Try football, soccer, rounders, softball and anything else you can think of. It doesn’t need to be serious or competitive; you don’t need to be the best. Just enjoy yourself and have fun.
Take Lessons Together
Kids love learning new things, and they also love seeing their parents be bad at things. They love learning together. Think of sports and activities that you’ve never tried. Perhaps ice skating or rollerblading. Find some family lessons and learn together. This is fantastic activity and a great way to spend some time together, bonding over something new. In the future, these lessons will always bind you by being something that you’ve got in common.
Swimming is a fantastic all over body exercise. Even if you don’t actually swim, and instead use your time to play around in the water with your kids, increased resistance means that you are all getting more exercise and burning more calories.