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Fighting Obesity in Children: Get Your Kids Moving

20.03.2014

Children who sit too much and move too little are at the highest risk for becoming overweight. Kids need an hour of exercise daily for optimum health. This may seem like a lot, but exercise doesn’t have to happen in a gym or all at once. Instead, try to incorporate movement into your family’s regular routine.

Exercise ideas for kids

It used to be commonplace to find children running around and playing in the streets of their neighbourhoods, naturally expending energy and getting exercise. In today’s world, that’s not always an option. If you’re not comfortable letting your children roam free, you still have options for boosting their activity level.

Play active indoor games. Put the remote away and organize some active indoor games. You can play tag (perhaps crawling tag, so that you keep messes to a minimum), hide-and-seek, or Simon Says (think jumping jacks and stretches).

Get outside with your child. Take a walk together, bike around the neighbourhood, explore a local park, visit a playground, or play in the yard. If it makes sense for your neighbourhood and schedule, walk to and from activities and school.

Do chores together. Perhaps it’s not your child’s first choice, but doing household chores is a very effective way to get exercise. Mopping, sweeping, taking out trash, dusting or vacuuming burn a surprising number of calories.

Enroll children in after school sports or other activities. If your budget allows, sign children up to play a sport or get involved in an activity where they are physically active. The local YMCA, YWCA, or Boys’ and Girls’ Club are safe places for children to exercise and play.

Sign up for a 5 or 10K “race” with your child. Sometimes having a goal in mind can motivate even the most reluctant exercisers. Find a kid-friendly walk/run “race” in your area and tell your child you’ll be “training” for it together. Be sure to celebrate when you accomplish this feat.

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