Kids Excited to Exercise
studies during the last ten years, children from the ages of six to
17 scored extremely low in areas of strength, flexibility, and cardio
respiratory endurance. Television watching, electronic games, and
inactive parents were implicated as major sources of the lack of exercise.
and adults need to accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate activity
each day. However, it's estimated that only one in three American
children participate in daily physical activity. And about one-fourth
of all adults and young people from the ages of 12 to 21 are getting
no vigorous exercise at all.
Kids need to
learn at a young age that fitness can be fun! Children have a short
attention span (20 minutes) when it comes to fitness, yet an unlimited
capacity to watch the monitor or TV.
in a shorter time, and become both over-heated and dehydrated in
a shorter time than adults.
to be fun and diverse to peak a child's interest and turn physical
activity into a "looked forward to" time of the day.
One of the best
ways to increase the overall fitness of a family is by exercising
together. Variety of activity is the key to keeping all family members
enjoying exercise. The older the children, the more important it
becomes for exercise to be "fun". Motivation must come
from Mom and Dad through example, creative activities, and persistence.
Physical activity sessions do not need to last longer than 30-45
minutes but should be scheduled on a regular basis.
enjoy the sessions, and they should not be rigid or competitive
in nature, especially where young children are involved. Family
physical activity time results in family bonding. As each family
member enjoys the activities, it should become easier to schedule
the sessions. One of the most important results is the teaching
of good health habits that can continue for a lifetime.
We have two
children (8-10) who have been involved in fitness with us since
they were 3-4. How?
Going for walks,
playing at the park, beach. Learning how to ride bikes, swimming
(year round-indoor or outdoor). We purchased a mini-tramp then a
larger one for the kids to bounce on, and would jump with them.
Taking the kids
to the gym so they could watch us exercise for short periods and
then letting them use light weights at home. Rolling balls across
the floor and chasing them on all fours.
Now as the kids
are older, they are involved in team sports (soccer and softball).
We still take the dogs for walks together, and choose to take small
vacations that always include swimming, biking and some walking.
For kids to
get excited about exercising, parents have to be excited. Get out
and be active with your kids. Children live what they learn.