Thanks to new technology, today’s kids are more screen-savvy than ever. At the touch of a button – or tap of an on-screen icon – thousands of books, games, apps, webpages, maps, photos, and other data are available almost instantly. While these advances allow for a world of information to be extremely easily accessible, they can also encourage a sedentary lifestyle.
Too much screen time at a young age can contribute to obesity and foster unhealthy habits. But, there are some ways that you can encourage your youngster to get moving and stay active.
Get Mom and Dad Moving
I’ve always wondered about parents that wished their children read more but don’t actually read themselves. In the same way, the first and best way to encourage an active lifestyle in your kids is to lead an active lifestyle yourself. When kids are young, there is a natural tendency to want to do whatever mom and dad are doing. Use that to your advantage and go for a walk, get on your bikes, throw the football around, or hit the local park.
Independent vs. Team Activities
While enrolling your son or daughter in a local soccer league may seem like an easy way to increase their activity, it is important to keep in mind that organized team sports aren’t for everyone. Some kids thrive on independent activities such as track, cycling, rock climbing, or swimming. This point is especially important to remember if you have several children. What motivates one kid to get outside and play may not be the same for others.
Instead of investing in a complicated reward system to limit screen time, simply encourage your child by participating in activities yourself and identifying the things that they most enjoy doing. Plus, being more active as a whole family is good for your health, too!