Kid's Activity Key to Losing Weight
all of us have experienced a child who is attached to the
computer like some form of life support. Actually, for
a teenager, the social networking available through the
internet is their minds actually IS their lifeline.
Try taking that away and you will soon see a teenager become
active....thrashing their arms about in frustration (perhaps
a reflex reaction from being extracted from a keyboard) and
complaining loudly. My daughter tells me this is
called a "squid attack"....designed to throw a parent
off-guard and change their mind.
When I was a child my mother would
say "turn off the TV and go out a play". And, we did.
Today, living in Sydney it hasn't always been safe to send
my daughter outside to play. Roads, strangers, two
working parents and long commutes for all of us has meant
there has been little time for activity for my daughter.
So how do we get our kids active to
help them avoid weight gain and unwanted health
complications from sitting at the computer forever?
Quite frankly, it starts with us as parents making an effort
to make activity an important part of the family routine.
Here are some ways to help encourage
your child to be active and get moving every day.
1. Set a good example.
(And yes, I can hear you groaning!)
If your children see that you are physically active and have
fun, they are more likely to be active and stay active
throughout their lives. Take the dog for a regular walk, get
on a bike, play cricket in the backyard. (We deliberately
bought a beagle dog so that we HAD to take him for
walks...and after 7 years, we still enjoy those walks.)
2. Your child needs your encouragement.
Encourage your child to join a sports
team or class, such as soccer, dance, basketball, or
gymnastics at school or at your local community or
3. Be sensitive to your child's needs.
If your child feels uncomfortable
participating in activities like sports, help him or her
find physical activities that are fun and not embarrassing.
Unfortunately some kids won't go and play with others
because they haven't developed the skills required of
kicking, throwing and running to feel good in games.
If this is the case, it will take some further encouragement
from your part and coaching to assist your child develop
confidence in this area. Children who are forced to
participate in sports they don't like often develop a
lifelong negative attitude to physical activity for the rest
of their life.
4. Be active together as a family.
Assign active chores such as making
the beds, washing the car, or vacuuming. Plan active outings
such as a trip to the zoo, picnics or a walk through a local
park. When it comes to chores and you have a reluctant
child, make it a family affair where everyone pitches in at
the same time for the same length of time. That way
there is a clear start and finish and no lone gets to sit
5. Build activity into everyday activities and reinforce
with positive messages.
time to play outside now.’
needs some practice fetching. It would be great if
you would go outside and throw the ball for him.'
‘Let’s walk to the shop to get the things we need
you have been jumping on the trampoline for ages.’
going, your sandcastle is getting so big.’
did a fantastic job pulling the weeds out of the
garden. It’s great when you help.’
rode a really long way today on your bike, well
important...you get the idea!
6. Keep it fun!
Because his or her body is not ready
yet, do not encourage your pre-adolescent child to
participate in adult-style physical activity such as long
jogs, using an exercise bike or treadmill, or lifting heavy
weights. FUN physical activities are best for kids.
Weight Loss Health Editorial Team
Resources: Raising Children Network; National Institutes for