Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Help Your Kids Fall Into Exercise

Now that school has been back in session for a few weeks, children are settling back into their routine of homework and extra curricular activities. Unless your kids are active in sports, they may be missing out on a key element of good health—exercise. Trying to get your child off the couch after a stressful (for them!) day at school or on the weekend is a challenge. And if your kids are coming home alone because you work, you may not be able to make sure they are doing more than watching videos or playing video games.

Here’s a hint: If kids don’t think of it as exercise and they think it is fun, they will do it. If you give them some incentive, they may even be excited about the activity.

Getting homework done is important, but let your children to bypass it for a few hours after they first get home. Encourage them to do some sort of activity, even if it is just playing a game of freeze tag in the backyard. You can set a later time for homework.
Have a fun activity at home. Your children are not likely to jump on your treadmill. They will enjoy jumping on a Rebounder, a mini trampoline that can fit in almost any room of the house or in the backyard. This is an activity that can be done rain or shine!
Most kids enjoy video games and will choose to play the latest super space competition instead of going outdoors. Why not give them a game that is fun, competitive and is a great workout? Dance Dance Revolution has the feel of a video game, but kids will burn calories while keeping up with the steps. They will not even know they are exercising!

Do an activity with them. Take an afternoon bike ride in the neighborhood. Head to the tennis courts for a challenging match with your children. Take a stroll after dinner.

If your kids are active in sports, you have other concerns. In recent years, some children and teens have died during a sports activity. If your child is playing sports, you need to make sure they are physically healthy enough. Most sports require an exam before the child is cleared to play.

Watch one of the practice sessions if you have concerns your children are being pushed too hard. Even though school sports are competitive, they children are supposed to enjoy them! If the sport seems more fierce than fun, consider withdrawing your child. Many local recreation department offer sports programs.

For more great articles like this visit Fitness and kids