With all the video games, television and other engaging, yet sedentary activities the world has to offer today, it’s no wonder that more children are struggling with obesity or with carrying a few extra pounds. While the average child watches more than four hours of television a day, he should be exercising for a least an hour every day, according to KidsHealth. Choose fun yet active exercises to get him out there and get him moving.
Bicycling and Other Exercises on Wheels
As a cardiovascular exercise, biking can be a lot less intimidating for overweight children than running, since it’s usually portrayed as a fun activity, while running is something you do to shed pounds and build muscle. Try going for a family bike ride a few times a week after dinner or on the weekends. If you live in a neighborhood with sidewalks, encourage your child to ride his bike to friends’ houses. Rollerblading or skating and skateboarding are other fun ways your child can squeeze exercise into his day.
Compromise with your child. If she wants to watch television, hand her a jump rope and encourage her to use it during the commercial breaks. Jumping rope is an efficient way to squeeze aerobic exercise into the day. A few quick bursts of it throughout the day are a great way to improve cardiovascular ability. You should also encourage your child to jump rope outdoors for fun. Many young children have fun skipping rope with friends or trying out new tricks, such as jumping on one foot or crossing their arms as they jump.
Take your child to the local pool and encourage him to swim. Swimming builds strength, burns calories and is usually so much fun that your child won’t even realize he is exercising. Have a contest while swimming to see who can swim the most laps the quickest. You may also want to sign yourself and your child up a for a water aerobics class, which can provide you time to bond as you both burn calories.
Exercise needs to be fun for overweight children or else they won’t do it. Most playground games, such as tag, kickball or even just racing across the monkey bars, are a great way for your child to exercise throughout the day. Obviously, you can’t be there to make sure he is making the most of his recess time, so you may want to take him to the playground after school. Round up a group of children from the neighborhood if need be and encourage them to run, play tag or race to their heart’s content.