Getting Kids off the Couch
By. Chris Gorski
Video games and TV are running rampant in today’s youth and many of today’s children seem to be more content making an animated object do activities via a joystick or controller than to do an activity themselves. With 18% of children age 6-11 being obese and 18.4% of children 12-19 being obese there is cause for concern in the activity levels of today’s youth. We are in no way fat shaming as it’s possible to be plump and healthy but it is best to have some activity in your routine to ensure this health. I for one am not a stick figure yet I do get out and inline skate, hike and the only video game I play is the Wii fitness, which I highly recommend. So how do you get the kids off the couch and into an activity? Well, the only way I see this happening is to make the activity as fun as possible.
Obviously team sports offer some of the best opportunities for children to get active and these sports also teach team building and ownership. The key to team sports is getting a child started early so that they won’t feel out of place with those that may have been taking part in the activity much longer. As a parent it is also important to be involved; take your child to practice but then, STAY! Don’t just drop them off and then take off or stick around just to stare at your Smartphone the entire time. Get involved if you can whether it is mentoring, coaching or just helping run drills.
Active Video Games
Like I stated in the opening paragraph I am a big fan of the Wii Fitness but there are plenty of fun video games that incorporate some sort of activity. The Wii, X-Box Kinect and Playstation Motion all incorporate some sort of activity in their video games. There is even an inline skating feature on some Wii games!
Getting kids on a Fitness Routine
We are creatures of habit so if you can make it a habit or a routine to add fitness to your child’s daily routine it will have a much higher success rate. For me, I do at the least 30 minutes of Wii fit every day before I watch any TV or do anything else. Making something they love to do a reward for doing something you want them to do but it’s even better when the fitness becomes something they want to do.
Make fitness fun!
We sell inline skates, inline skating is fun! I know that when I put on my inline skates I am going to have a fun time! Inline skating is a fun activity but it is still a fitness activity which makes it the perfect storm offering both a good time and a fat burning exercise. Choose an activity that they find fun whether it is inline skating, biking, hiking or any other activity. The key is to better yourself while still having a good time. Getting kids active shouldn’t be too hard as most kids have a lot of energy but the real challenge is finding their activity, the activity they are going to enjoy. Offering good opportunities for kids to get active and also incorporating a healthy diet will help them stay healthy and happy in their youth and into adulthood!