Tips To Get Your Kids Off Their Phones And Into Fitness!
Technology is a wonderful thing. It has made life easier and more convenient.
But technology has reared its ugly head by turning many kids away from the great outdoors and into the online world.
Parents yearn back to the old days when kids were more involved in sports and fitness.
But can you wean a child from technology and into a physical fitness program?
Here’s how to do it…
Set An Example
It is not enough to talk to kids about the importance of physical fitness. As parents, it would be more effective to lead by example!
Physical fitness activities do not have to be as rigid as gym class drills.
Your choice of activity should require the child to expend energy and utilise various motor skills.
Its movements should develop speed, strength, agility, power and endurance that increase heart rate. Most of all, it should be fun!
Finding a fun physical fitness activity for the family should not be hard.
Here are a few examples:
• Frisbee In The Park
• Half Court Basketball
• Family Tennis Tournament
• Family Sports Fest
• Swimming Relays
• Obstacle Course
• Bowling On A Friday Night
Physical Fitness as a family activity is a great and productive way to keep your child healthy, fit and active.
It also makes for effective bonding time and keeps you and your husband/wife in shape!
Ask Them To Choose The Activity
Parents often make the mistake of expecting their child to follow in his or her footsteps.
Just because your child has your DNA does not mean he or she inherited your interest or physical abilities.
You can actively pursue your child’s interest for your sport but in the end, it should be his or her choice.
The best thing parents can do is be supportive. If you were an State rugby player in your UNI days but your child opted to play basketball, be there for him or her on day one.
Support is not just found by paying for your child’s basketball lessons.
Support plays a bigger role in getting your child to accept failure or mistakes when he or she is still learning the basics. This is how being in a sport builds character.
At the same time, do not be an “enabler”. An enabler is someone who keeps praising the child even if his or her performance leaves a lot to be desired.
Be honest with your criticism and always phrase your comments in a constructive manner.
Get Them Involved With The Program
Physical fitness is not just about exercise. Nutrition and rest are a big part of it too.
Educate your child about the importance of nutrition but do it in the coolest classroom of all.
The local supermarket!
Before you go to the supermarket, sit down with your child and plan the menu. Then write down the ingredients on a piece of paper.
When you get to the supermarket, ask your child to search and find the ingredients on your list.
As your child brings an ingredient to the shopping cart explain what it is and its nutritional value.
For example, your child brings an avocado to the shopping cart.
You can tell your child, “The avocado is rich in healthy fats that can lower cholesterol. We will use the avocado as a substitute for mayonnaise in our chunky chicken sandwich!”
When you get home, ask your child to help you make chunky chicken sandwiches.
Give him or her the task of scooping out the avocado and mashing it until it becomes smooth and consistent.
Then build the sandwich together. Your child will enjoy what he or she created and will develop an appreciation for healthy food.
Do Household Chores
Okay technically household chores do not fall into any sporting category. However it is still a form of physical activity that burns calories.
Have you tried gardening, mowing the lawn or washing the car? These are physically challenging activities.
Delegate household chores to everyone in the family but assign it according to age and level of physical development.
For children below the age of 12, you can assign them vacuuming, light garden work or help you with cleaning the car.
Another benefit of letting your child do household chores is it gives them a sense of responsibility.
They will learn that there is no type of job that is beneath them. Your child will develop a greater appreciation in the work that is done by many manual laborers.
Make Family Pre And Post Dinner Walks A Regular Activity
At a day and age when most households have dual income earners, time together as a family seems like a fleeting commodity.
Both Mum and Dad are busy making ends meet that by the time they get home, the first thought is to prop their tired legs on an ottoman.
A better option would be to take a leisurely stroll around the park or the suburb with their child and the family pet.
A stroll is an effective way to de- stress because you are able to share the day’s activities with the people you love the most.
Even at a slow pace, you will still burn calories. You can schedule the stroll either before or after dinner.
If it is before dinner it could boost your metabolism and increase insulin sensitivity a bit to improve carbohydrate assimilation. If after dinner, the stroll can help with digestion.
Technology will always be a part of our lives so keeping our children away from tablets and smart phones would not serve any productive purpose.
Hard ball tactics of restricting access to mobile gadgets may only heighten their need to have them.
The approach should be to encourage your child to explore the real world instead of the virtual world.
Physical fitness is a great way to share with your child the way of life before technology took over.
It may change his perspective on today’s technologically- driven conveniences and develop a greater appreciation for fun and play the old school way.