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  5. How to Encourage Your Children to Live an Active and Healthy Lifestyle

Make good health a priority that they value.

If you’re a parent, you want the best for your children. You go out of your way to make sure they have the things that they need and that they feel loved, supported, and cared for at all times. In addition to tending to their basic needs, it’s important to make sure that you’re providing them with the skills necessary to thrive into adulthood as well-adjusted, happy, healthy individuals. 

Physical activity and living a life that promotes wellness through deliberate choices is ideal. It gives kids an advantage by helping them avoid illness and disease. They’re able to achieve more of the goals they set for themselves because they feel good enough to pursue them.

Be the Living Embodiment of Good Health and Wellness 

There are many ways to model ideal behavior for young children. In fact, you’ll find that certain things work well with your kids while others don’t. The point is to do everything you can to stay physically active, healthy and motivated while around them. That way, it becomes habitual for them to do the same.

You can encourage your children to live an active and healthy lifestyle. Here’s how:

  • Make time for outdoor fun. Get outdoors and explore. There are many things you can do to burn calories and entertain yourselves. Try walking to the local farmer’s market, play a game of basketball, do yoga in the park or even go to a trampoline park. The more fun you make the activity, the more the kids will want to do it on their own. You’re fostering a lifetime of excellent habits through the activities you choose to take part in. Allow the children to have some say about what they want to do, too. That way, it feels less like an obligation and more like an excursion each time you set foot outdoors.
  • Model good eating habits. Young children learn by example. They see you doing something and want to do it, too. You can give them a valuable gift by helping them see food as nourishment and not a way of coping with stressful feelings. If you choose to eat fruit instead of cookies, they’ll want to, too. Think about ways to model good eating habits and watch your children do the same without prompting. Keep the fridge stocked with healthy snacks such as fresh fruits and vegetables so they gravitate toward them rather than sugary or salty options.
  • Encourage communication surrounding emotions. When kids feel upset, sad or angry, they may make poor decisions concerning their health. By giving them an outlet to express their emotions, you’re teaching them to deal with their emotions in a positive and productive way. Rather than grab an extra cookie or candy bar, they go outside and run around the yard. Doing so makes them feel better and more in control of their feelings. They’ll be honest about what they’re experiencing and be better able to tell others as a way for asking for support.
  • Give them choices and consequences. Even the youngest child can benefit from being given options. Limit them to two to three choices. Then, explain the consequences that come with each. That way, the kids make decisions based on facts and remain knowledgeable about how their choices affect themselves and others long-term. They’ll have an idea of how the food they eat and the activities that they engage in affects their bodies.
  • Provide them with household chores. Let them burn calories by cleaning and helping out around the house and yard. Teach them how to run a vacuum, load a dishwasher, dust, and even cook. It keeps them moving and busy while teaching them valuable skills that they’ll use for the rest of their lives. There is no harm in helping children learn the value of hard work. They’ll be able to put into practice what you taught them once they’re adults.
  • Sign up to do a clean-up project together. Pitch in and help out your community in the process. You and your kids can make a real difference by cleaning up a park, stream or beach. There is a lot of physical activity involved in clean-up efforts. It also teaches them important lessons about valuing the planet and the many beautiful outdoor spaces that the public gathers.
  • Teach them the right way to look after their health. Schedule regular check-ups with their physician to see how they are growing and developing. Respond to complaints of feeling ill by monitoring their symptoms and going to the doctor if they worsen. Visit a nutritionist so they can hear how important good quality food and water is for their bodies. Read books and watch TV shows or movies that promote healthy lifestyle choices. Make it a theme that they know well.

There is no end to the amount of ways you can encourage your kids to be physically active. From planning vacations that focus on exercise to promoting good health through the positive release of emotions, there are many things you can do. Taking time out of your busy schedule to tend to the fitness and health of your children is among the most important things that you do.

The Gift of a Good Healthy Life Belongs to Your Children

Give your children the gift of knowledge. The sooner they learn the importance of being physically active, the better. They’ll understand that their best line of defense against illness and disease is by moving their bodies. As teenagers and adults, they’ll conscientiously make physical activity a priority because they know how good it makes them look and feel.

There are many ways to get your children up and moving. From joining a sports team to pitching in on community clean-up day, you have many options that strengthen their bodies and prepare their minds for a lifetime of good health and wellness. The more they’re aware that their choices impact the condition of their bodies, the better able they are to make decisions that carry positive results.