Motivating Kids to Exercise

by Mary Mason-Shields - Date: 2007-04-10 - Word Count: 516 Share This!

When looking at the startling facts about child obesity, parents and others are wondering what they can do to actively combat the spread of obesity. First and foremost, we must determine what created this situation. Once we get this determination, we can further pursue a plan of attack.

Research shows that physical activity is a combatant for obesity as well as good nutrition. Making a game out of good nutrition is a good way to motivate children into working their way out of obesity and into a future of eating healthy. When you de-emphasize exercise for and to children, they are more apt to participate in physical activity.

Put more focus on fun for children's activities and your plan of attach in combating child obesity is less gruesome for you and for children. Children like doing fun things and they are very happy doing fun things with family. Parents should plan fun, robust, and targeted physical activities for the entire family.

Remember, most children emulate what they see and hear. Therefore, if a child witnesses his family taking an active part in physical activity, they will take an active part too. Also, remember that children love being around their parents. While the concentration and focus is on combating child obesity, adults who plan physical activities for the family are also benefiting themselves.

Social behaviors must be another major focus in the plan to combat child obesity. Children have learned at an early age to eat out. Families who are short of time to prepare healthy meal choices have taught their children to eat at McDonalds, Burger King, Hardees, etc. in lieu of nutrition. Time is the issue for most families where both parents work outside of the home. Oftentimes, a meal from the nearby fast food restaurant is the choice for the family dinner. If we think back on our childhoods, we can easily develop a plan of fun physical activities. Remember when we used to play hopscotch? Wasn't that a fun game to play with your friends? Did you know at that time you were burning calories? Did you even think that one day in your adult life, you would be reflecting on childhood games? How about the game of tag or dodgeball? How about "Simon Says?" Oh, to be a kid again.

Guess what? If you want to take an active part in combating child obesity, you can revert back to your childhood. Use those games from your past into your physical activity plan for your children. After all, our childhoods did not allow us to be sedentary. To be still for more than five minutes was unheard of. I can hear my mother saying, "Why don't you keep still? You're like a worm in hot ashes." Those were the days. As I think back on my childhood, I don't remember any of my friends or myself being overweight.

Let all of us take a look back on our childhoods and put our childhood memories into a plan of physical activity for combating child obesity. Let us bring our childhoods from yesteryear into the childhoods of today for our children.

Related Tags: time, nutrition, motivation, physical activity, social behavior

This article was written by Mary Mason-Shields, an independent distributor for a major health and wellness company. Visit her at to get a copy of her free e-book.

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