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Keep It Moving: Getting Children Up & Active

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

With Today’s modern technology many parents are finding themselves up against a new hurdle, which parents have never had to face (at large) before: having to push their children to be exactly that, children. With constant electronic stimulations and a tempting virtual world, modern children are not acting as their predecessors would have: they aren’t going outside to run and play, they aren’t looking to join sports/teams and games and they aren’t looking to be constantly active! There are many ways to make sure our children get out and moving to improve their health and quality of life, but here are just a few to get you started.

First off, between school, town, and intramural sports and groups, there are many different team opportunities for children of all school ages, in most communities. For the best result, don’t just enroll your child in a popular sport. Talk to them about their interests and then check to see if there are any local groups available. Encourage your child to try every sport available in the area until they find something that they really enjoy. The more invested our children are in the activities they participate in, the more interest they are going to have in continuing to move.

If you haven’t already, limit all screen time. Unfortunately, in today’s modern world, children are not only surrounded by screens at all times, but they’re also encouraged to be in front of them at all times, as well. Once children are home and homework is complete (often, that too involves a screen), try to set a time frame in your home that no screen is to be on. Once such a timeframe becomes habitual (and the whining seems to have stopped) children will be much more apt to automatically turn to the outdoors and free-play for entertainment. You’ll probably find yourself less drawn in by the addictive screens as well!

Last, make a little family time a couple times a week and center it around activity. Take the whole family for a walk around the block after dinner. Return to the days of your childhood by starting up a lively game of hide-and-go seek in the dark in the back yard (heck, I remember many a day of hide-and-go seek in the dark indoors, once we were old enough, if it was cold or wet out). By getting the whole family and moving, not only will you be increasing activity and family togetherness, you’ll also be emphasizing the importance of movement through your actions as well as your words.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Keep It Moving: Getting Children Up & Active

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