Is exercise for kids soon to be a trend? Let’s hope so. What we, as parents, can do to instill healthy habits in our children.
It is heartening to read that kids’ fitness is on the list of fitness trends for 2015. Or rather, the idea of kids’ fitness is on trend.
In the line up of fitness trends for 2015, exercise for kids makes the list. To clarify, that kids’ fitness will soon possibly be a trend makes the list. Which is good, but not good enough.
How can it be in a country so heavily focused on health and working out, with juice bars and gyms in every neighborhood, that kids fitness has so blatantly gone by the wayside?
I’ll tell you how. We adults are not giving it enough attention. The reduction in recess at schools, ultra competitive club sports, fear of abduction, and tons of screen time have our kids super out of shape. And guess what? They aren’t learning to get fit as adults as a result.
Sure, in our day we just went outside and played. Like, every day. But we have to be realistic here. Times have changed. Lifestyles lean toward the highly scheduled. School lunches are still unhealthy, but now kids have less time to eat them. Recess time is getting shaved down to make more time for studies. Club sports are so competitive they often don’t have a place for kids who are just looking to get active and have some fun.
Instead of teaching our kids how to eat right (and that includes not inhaling their entire lunch in under 10 minutes) and stay active, we are allowing them to get sucked into this system of unhealthy habits. And with obesity and poor body image on the rise, this is a dangerous stance.
As much time as I spend reading and writing on the wellness revolution, I come across little information on wellness trends for children. Most articles and research are on how to make us adults look and feel our best and keep us looking and feeling our best into old age. We tend not to focus as much on nutrition and exercise for kids.
But what if we did apply some of this to our kids? Your pediatrician’s probably gives you some nutritional advice, but it could be very outdated. Doctors in general are notoriously under-educated on nutrition. We need ideas that work for now. Screens and fast food aren’t going anywhere. Let’s figure out what we can do to get our kids healthier and instill those habits in them for a lifetime.
We may not be able to change their eating and exercise routine during school hours, but we certainly can when they are home.
The best plan, as advocated by fitness guru to the stars, Tracy Anderson, is to get moving yourself. If your kids see exercise and good health is a priority for you, they will be more likely to get on board. Exercising as a family is a good idea too. Go for walks, take older kids along to the gym, hit the trails together.
As with adults, if kids find something they like to do it will be that much easier to get them to do it. Introduce them to different forms of exercise for kids until they find something that fits.
And remember the point is not to turn them into the next pro athlete. It is to get them moving and teach them how to live healthfully.
[Image of family exercising via Shutterstock]