For a long and healthy life, starting young is really important. If when you reach your twenties, thirties or forties you are overweight and unfit, the struggle to attain normal weight and a high level of physical fitness is so hard. The tendency is to go on getting fatter and even less fit.
A good start with plenty of exercise and a normal BMI changes all that. It becomes far easier (or no effort at all) to maintain a normal weight and level of fitness, setting the scene for long term good health and avoidance of all the chronic diseases and disabilities which so often afflict us in later life.
So this week I am happy to host this guest blog from Laura Watson from “Kids Pelvic Surgery” – see the link below. Her perspective comes from her specialty but is much more widely applicable. Much of what she says seems obvious but even so it is widely neglected! Read on.
Why Fitness Awareness Is Important for Your Child?
One of the greatest things that can happen in your life is to become a parent. You are able to see the world in a new light because you will see so many aspects of it through your child’s eyes. As your child grows, their activities change and so do their needs. From time spent playing alone to time spent with other kids to time spent with parents, all of this will affect your child’s health and development.
Fitness is an important part of growing up. A fit child will be able to do more in school and play harder when they are playing outside. It can even help them avoid illness, like urinary incontinence or any other, at some level when they grow older. It’s important to tell your child why fitness awareness is important for them.
When you teach your child about fitness, it can be turned into an enjoyable experience that they will enjoy the benefits of when they are older. Your child may not understand right now, but when they get older it will all make sense. If you introduce fitness early on in their lives, they’ll grow up with an appreciation for it.
A fit child will be able to do more in school and play harder when they are playing outside. It can even help them avoid illness at some level when they grow older.
When your children are young, you want to make sure that they stay active. You don’t want your child to become overweight, especially during their childhood years. Childhood obesity can lead to weight problems later in life. Some of the many ways you can improve fitness awareness in your child are listed below.
1. Teach them about healthy food choices:
As a parent, you should be setting an example for your kids when it comes to eating well and exercising regularly. Healthy food choices are important because children need good nutrition for steady energy and growth. You can teach your children that vegetables are just as fun to eat as chips or candy, by serving them both at the same time. They might even turn their noses up at the chips when they realize how great a kale salad tastes!
2. Take them on walks:
Taking walks with your children is a great way to start building an exercise habit. Make the walk fun and interesting by finding interesting things in your neighborhood to point out and stop and admire.
3. Encourage them to be active:
Encouraging your children to play outside is not only fun for them, but also gets them moving — something they might not be doing without your encouragement. Encourage them to play outside with their friends, and if they want to bring a few toys along for the ride, so much the better.
You can also encourage them to get active by setting up mini-exercises such as jumping jacks or running in place during commercial breaks when you’re watching TV.
4. Set a good example:
Your children are always watching you, so remember that when it comes to fitness awareness. Don’t just talk the talk, but actually walk the walk and be an active parent yourself. Start going for walks with your kids in the morning or do some gardening at home between errands in the afternoon. You’ll be a great example for them if you set the tone of being active every day.
5. Make it part of their daily routine:
It’s important to get kids moving every single day, even if they’re doing something simple like dancing around while brushing their teeth or jumping on the bed before getting dressed. These little bursts will add up and help them develop healthy habits. And because fitness should be fun, your kids will enjoy it as well.
6. Keep track of their progress:
You can use walk counters to track how many steps they take during the day or a child’s fitness tracker to show them how active they are every day. Use these tools as a way to encourage them and challenge them to be more active!
7. Don’t stop at childhood:
You may not think your child needs fitness information during puberty, but they do. Puberty is a time that children start developing into adults and along with that comes some confusion and changes that can impact their health. Fitness awareness during this time is important not only for their health but also to help them feel better throughout puberty. If you are vigilant with your child’s fitness, they will grow up feeling healthy and in charge of their own destiny.
Having a fit and active child means that you do your part to encourage them towards a healthy lifestyle. You can also help them be aware of their fitness level as they grow older by keeping track of how active they are every day. By setting an example for your children on a daily basis, you will teach them to value their health at an early age. If you let them start this habit when they’re young, they will be able to carry it with them for life.