Encouraging Activity in Young Children

While many of us think kids are naturally fit, the fact is they all need a little friendly encouragement from Mom and Dad.

While it’s true that kids are the most fit of all age groups, they’re not as fit as they were a few decades ago. And because fitness is a lifestyle, it’s important to help youngsters see fitness as a part of their lives from an early age.  You can do this with some great simple games and activities, says Rae Pica, author of Your Active Child.  “Exercise can be fun and when we’re talking about exercise for young children we’re talking about running and jumping, chasing bubbles, holding a parade in the living room, dancing to moderate or fast paced music.  We’re not talking regimes, or specific fitness regimes for young children.  We’re talking about moving and having fun. Active play.”

Rae feels that young children don’t need sport leagues and exercise programs, but they do need parents as role models, and so do bigger kids. Parents are the biggest influence in getting kids off the couch.  So how do we get them moving?  It’s no secret says Dr. Ed Abramson, author of Body Intelligence. “The main thing you have to do is find an activity that the child will enjoy, so it doesn’t seem like this is imposed from outside, it doesn’t seem like a chore, but rather, having fun.”

Dr. Abramson adds that today’s children are at risk of developing health problems because of inactivity. “The human body was not designed to go from bed to car-seat to desk chair to sofa and back to bed.  The human body was designed to move, to be active, to encounter a certain amount of resistance.”

So get outside and enjoy active time with your children no matter what the season is.  Not only will you be role modeling an active, healthy lifestyle, but you’ll have fun as family tood!

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