August 06, 2013

Four Ways to Be More Active With Your Children

GameTime is celebrating Exercise with Your Child Week. Here are four ways to get you and your child up off the couch and moving together!

Act Like a Kid Yourself!

How many times have you heard "Mom, play with me"? Even when kids are playing together they love it when parents join in the fun. Next time you are at the playground, skip the benches and climb up the ladder and explore the playground with your kids. Slide down the slides, swing on the swings and enjoy some time at play. It will make your children happy to have you join in the fun and play is a great way for parents to relieve stress and improve overall physical and mental health.

Turn off the Screens

Between televisions, computers, phones and tablets, there is an enormous amount of digital content consumed by children each day. The CDC estimates children spend an average of sic to eight hours each day in front of a screen. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids get no more than one to two hours of screen time a day, whether that's watching TV, surfing the Internet, or playing video games. Encourage your children to be more active by setting an example. Put your phone away when you get home and turn off the television. Take a walk with your children before or after dinner, turn on some music and have a dance party or make a game out of household chores by seeing who can finish each task the fastest.

Play is More than Sports

Not every child is going to be the starting pitcher on the little league team or a star goalie. Find fun activities that your child really enjoys. Many communities have indoor rock climbing facilities or canoe and kayak rentals. Contact your local park and recreation department or community center and explore all the different activities that your community offers until you find something that you and your children really enjoy.

Stay Positive

Use every play activity as an opportunity to encourage your child to be more active. Children who aren't usually very active can benefit from a word of praise when they do a cartwheel, swing without being pushed or walk further than they ever have before. Regardless of how much or how little your children accomplish, acknowledge their effort, not just their accomplishments.

Kent Callison
categories Editorial