How to keep your child in shape: a guide

Over the last 30 years, obesity rates in children have almost tripled. P.E classes may not be enough to keep your child in shape and if your child is averse to physical activity then it may be difficult to keep them fit and healthy. If this is something that you worry about then there are a few helpful tips that can make the process a lot easier. Staying fit and healthy doesn’t need to be a chore and there are lots of ways you can make it a fun activity.

Make exercise a family activity

The key to keeping kids active is for the parents to keep active as well. On days off, take the whole family out for a bicycle run, nature walk or just a game of Frisbee in the backyard. Kids take after their parents and will be more encouraged to stay fit if they see you doing it as well. This can turn out as a great weekly event that will keep the whole family fit and give a chance to bond more. You can even team up with another family and make a large outing together as a chance to form closer friendships with neighbours and friends.

Hit the Gym

Some gyms allow kids aged 11-13 to use the equipment, other may restrict gym use until their 16-17. While care should be taken with designing the right program for a child there is little to worry about children using the gym. A personal trainer can help a lot with planning the right workout plan and training them for the right fitness.

Experiment with different sports

It’s likely that you’ll go through a lot of different sports and activities before you find one that your child latches on to. If a child finds a sport or activity they enjoy early on in life then they can become really good if they keep at it. Look into any local activities in your area and try something different each week. Indoor rock climbing is a very popular sport and one that just about every kid loves. Hiking can encourage them to appreciate the great outdoors while also staying healthy. Sailing, fishing and horse riding are also easy to pick up and can teach a child a lot more than just how to stay healthy.

Encourage unstructured playtime

It’s too easy to think that structured sports are the only way to go. Staying fit and healthy is a lifetime habit when picked up early so it helps to make your child think of exercise as if its play. Encourage your child to get out more and do what they wish. There might be some concern about leaving them unsupervised, if you’re not available then ask a neighbor to keep an eye on them when they’re in the backyard. Children need to be left to make up their own games and when left to their own they can be very creative.

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