We should all be encouraging our children to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible. This isn’t just about taking control of certain aspects of their diet or sleep schedule. This is about highlighting to them the importance of looking after your health! The earlier that people learn long-term lessons, the more it sticks with them throughout their lives. And making sure they know how important it is to exercise and stay healthy can be essential, especially in a world that’s giving them more and more incentive to do the opposite.
Video games can be great, smartphones can be incredibly useful, and the occasional sugary treat isn’t going to do too much harm. But these things are becoming more ubiquitous all the time, and the temptation to just sit there, passively enjoying entertainment, and eating whatever you like seems to be growing all the time. It’s not just about making sure they don’t get into these habits as a kid – it’s about making sure they keep the dangers in mind as an adult, too.
So how can we get our kids into fitness? It’s not as if we’re going to be taking them to run marathons before they’re ten years old. Thankfully, it doesn’t quite have to come to that! We’re going to look at three key elements that will help ingrain good healthy habits in your child – and may even help you!
Getting out there
Perhaps the most important thing is that everyone gets some exercise. It’s recommended that we get our heart rate up for at least half an hour every day. And to do that, we generally must go outside! So, the best thing to do is ensure that getting outside for a while become a habit, as well as something they enjoy. Consider making a rule: every day, the family will leave the house and spend at least half an hour outside. When you’re out there, think of some blood-pumping activities. Is there an area nearby with safe playground surfaces? Then consider racing each other or playing tag!
Leading by example
Your child is going to follow your lead, whether they mean to or not! It’s not going to send the right message to them if you tell them to stop playing games and head outside if you… well, always play games and never head outside! If you exercise regularly, your child will take an interest in some way. This is your chance to educate them about what you do to keep yourself healthy. This will make a big impression on them. It can affect both exercise and diet. Speaking of which…
A lot of people don’t quite grasp just how unhealthy a lot of pre-made foods are. Even if they’re not loaded with fats and sugars, they tend to lack any real nutritional value. One of the best ways to maintain a healthy diet is to just prepare your own meals – and this is something you can help highlight to your child. Do some cooking together. It will help them appreciate the importance and magic of home cooking, as well as the subtleties of nutrients. It’s also a darn good skill to have growing up!