Getting Your Kids to Enjoy Fitness

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If you are a parent, then caring for your children is of paramount concern. There is a lot of attention right now being given to what kids are eating and the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. Just as important as what our kids eat though is their level of physical activity. Fitness is every bit as important to your health as good nutrition.

Many parental experts say the best way to get your kids to adopt a habit is to start teaching them at a young age. Once the child is stable on his or her legs and starts to break land-speed sound barriers as he darts all around your house, avoid the initial urge to tell them to sit down and be quiet. Instead, get them to focus that energy.

Look for a youth fitness group in your area. The ages of 3 to 4 may be a little too young for children to understand how organized sports or exercises work, but it can still be a great and healthy choice for getting your tyke to burn off some of that excess energy. It is also a great opportunity for you and your kids to make new friends. You can connect with other parents and your kids can work on early development of healthy social relationships.

The best group to look for is one that emphasizes fun and socializing and is not too strict. It is important when getting kids to engage in any activity that they enjoy doing it. If it feels like work, then they might not have as much fun. When they are not having a good time, they will not want to keep doing it.

To keep them enjoying, incorporate a reward system. Kids love to see instant gratification from any activity. Being as young as they are makes it difficult for them to have a long-term perspective. Good rewards might involve giving them a family movie night; bad rewards would involve giving them food, especially something like taking them out to a fast-food joint.

Help them keep track of their goals with something like an exercise journal. This makes a great chance for you to start teaching your kids simple math and distance skills. You might also make a game out of the distance they go, such as setting goals like walking the length of a famous trail. On top of teaching distance and helping them set and reach goals, you can also teach them a little bit about history as well.

Do not miss out on the opportunity to spend time with your kids either. It is only a matter of time before they reach those infamous teenage years and want nothing to do with you. While you are helping your kid get fit and healthy, take advantage of the chance and work to get yourself whipped into shape as well. You just might enjoy it as much as your kid.

Dennis Aimes is a freelance writer and health and wellness expert with the private health insurance business HBF. Dennis loves helping people find professional help so they can enjoy their lives. In his spare time, Dennis might be found passed out on the porch because his kids had a lot more energy than he anticipated.