Children today are less active than they were 20 years ago according to National Public Radio or NPR. In studies that span to children across the globe, it was determined that children are less fit. Every year children are less able to run and play. It is not difficult to identify at least some of the reasons.
Television and video games
Studies show the average child will play video games 15+ hours per day. Some children play much longer. When they are not playing video games, they are usually watching television. This means after a full day of sitting at school, they have a full evening of sitting at home.
What does it hurt?
Children today, in virtually every country are becoming obese. Illnesses that were once thought to only affect adults are not showing up in children. This includes:
- Type II Diabetes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart health issues
- Joint, muscle, and bone problems
You can’t blame it all on the parents
If both parents work outside the home or if children live in a single parent home. They work all day, drive home, and then have dinner to prepare, housekeeping, and the dreaded homework. That is not a little thing. In 2018, the average high-school student does 17.5 hours of homework per week. The numbers are less as you look at the lower grades. But, for their age, they all carry a significant load.
Another reason children are less active is the change in sports over the past few years. Twenty years ago, all the kids went out for the team. It was about participating and being part of the team. But today, the focus is on winning. Many parents refuse to allow their kids enter a “win or else” competition. There is no room for a kid that cannot run or throw a ball.
These are just small examples of the stumbling blocks that parents and their children face,
Motivate your kids
How do we turn this around for our children? Rest assured, you can correct this for your child. Let’s look at a few ways to turn the tide.
Look at the diet of your family
We are not suggesting that you put your kid on a diet. We are suggesting that you eliminate foods that are making your kid feel bad. Sugary snacks, carb-loaded snacks, and oceans of soda. These things are easy and fast, but when you try to get him involved in more active play, he will feel sluggish and will soon give up. Start with one food per week. Trade soda with water, juice, or milk. Trade candy for raisins, apple slices, cheese, or grapes.
Set an example
It is only fair. If you are taking the tv away an hour earlier so the kids can go for a walk or bike riding, go with them. Soon enough they will want to play with their friends. Until then, out on your sneakers.
Too young for sports? Try dance class!
The earlier your child adapts to living an active lifestyle, the better. If your child is a bit too young for the soccer team, try dance. They get exercise, have fun, and meet other kids their age. This takes a little time on your part (most instructors do not allow the parents to stay and watch.) You can order leotards, tights, shoes, bags, and costumes online from Just For Kix. JFK is everything dance.
Make it fun
This is not a punishment. Do not argue or cause a major issue about it. This is a marathon and not a sprint. It is about making changes to keep your family healthy and happy. You do not have to have to turn your world upside down in a week. Just set a goal and work toward that goal.
While your children are getting active and healthy, you will be getting yourself in shape along the way. This is what building a strong family is all about.