Most parents are advised that their children must do a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise every day, but in recent years the UK government has increased this figure to at least 90 minutes. Studies show that as few as 10% of all children are meeting these targets. Experts say that it’s time for the UK to wake up and get active; otherwise the obesity levels of children are going to sky-rocket. If children don’t up their exercise routine, as much as half of England’s young people could be obese by 2020.
In the last 20 years, obesity levels have more than tripled in children. Even one-in-ten six-year-olds are obese. Not only is this a shocking problem for the children in question, but it’ll result in increased premature deaths, due to severe medical problems such as heart disease and diabetes. So how can you get your children to do more exercise?
Instead of driving your child to school every day, encourage them to walk, ride a bike, or take a bus. Our current society worships technology and seldom exercises, compared to past generations. Without fast changes, the NHS will flounder under the pressure of exceptional ill health.
Lead By Example
As a parent, you can become an exceptionally good role model. Exercise every day and eat healthily. When you talk about working-out, don’t grumble, but speak positively about it, and try to convince your child to do some exercise with you.
Find out which activities your child likes best and pay for him or her to join a club – this could be anything from martial arts to dance. As you know, exercise can be tedious, but if you’re doing something you enjoy, getting that daily hour-and-a-half is a breeze.
Limit TV Time
Although playing video games and watching television has its place, by limiting the amount of time your children can spend going square-eyed, you’re forcing them to find alternative sources of fun. Multi use game areas are great places to go kick around a football, so drag them out of the house and visit your nearest park.
Encourage the kids to grab their friends, so it’s more fun for them. As much as your children love you, they’ll enjoy games more with their mates.
Use Exercise As A Reward
Instead of punishing your kids with exercise, make it a positive experience. Let your children take a half an hour break from their homework to go outside and play badminton. Suddenly, exercise will seem a lot more rewarding.
Make The Exercise Routine Regular
When exercise becomes just a part of daily life, your children will stop trying to wriggle out of it; especially if the entire family is scheduled in for an activity. Make exercise non-negotiable, like wearing a seat belt or brushing your teeth.
Exercise is necessary for your children’s health too and should be mandatory. Stay firm, but occasionally give them the day off as a treat for good behavior, and let them go crazy on the video games for the afternoon.
Zoe has been produced and contributed on behalf of Playrite. Feel free to tweet your thoughts on this article to Zoe @bloggingstyle!