Did you know that only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day?
Children and teens spend more time using TVs, computers, phones, and other electronic devices in the 21st century, and the time spent on physical activity is getting less and less.
Here are 7 ways to encourage your kids to get out of the house.
- Make physical activity part of the daily routine of the family
Fix a time, either early morning or evening according to your convenience, when everyone in the house will get out of the house and engage in some kind of physical activity together. Those living in apartments can designate a particular area of the house for this. It is important that the whole family does it at one time. Everyone could go for walk, go cycling, or play badminton. Alternatively, the whole family could do yoga or aerobics together.
- Arrange playdates with friends
According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, young children were 54% more active when playing with a friend compared to when playing alone. You could arrange weekend parties when your child could play a game of tag with friends.
- Get active toys for your children
Instead of board games or electronics, get balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, badminton racquets, a skateboard, a bicycle or other such active toys for your child.
- Adopt a Dog
Children love pets, and having a pet dog is and excellent reason for children to get out of the house to walk the dog, teach it tricks, or play with it.
- Limit TV/smart phone/computer time
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 1 to 2 hours of total screen time, including TV, computers, phones and video games, each day. Follow this guideline, and limit screen time so that there is more free time for physical activities.
- Sign up for sports and afternoon activities at school
Let your child choose a sport at school or at the local club, where they can play every day. It is motivating for a child to do activities with peers and in a familiar group. An inspiring physical education teacher, in fact, can do wonders for children’s motivation to do sports.
- Follow national and international sport events
As a motivational exercise, watch sport events on television or read about it and share what you have read with the family. Talk about sport heroes such as Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. Let children read about them and other real life sport heroes. Parents could take children to watch football games or swimming contests, to get the motivational levels high.