Top tips to get your kids to exercise

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Family fitness is easy to achieve together

As youngsters, kids seem to have endless energy that they can’t seem to burn off and this slows as they hit adolescence. This can be due to several factors such as feeling that they simply aren’t good at sports, increasing demands at school, and busy parents. As they get older their screen time tends to increase.

Choosing activities for kids doesn’t have to be complicated or even time-consuming. Activities done as a family can be broken down in manageable blocks through the day and bring you closer.

Take an after-dinner walk
Avoid the urge to slump in front of the TV after dinner and take a walk around your neighborhood. It will be a good chance to relax and get some fresh air. It will also help control blood sugar and speed up the time it takes food to move from the stomach into the small intestines which helps satiety after eating.

Choose the right toys
Give your children toys that will encourage them to do some sort of physical activity, such as balls, kites, skateboards, and jump ropes. If they only have the option of physical activities that make them go outside and get active, they’ll be less inclined to sit indoors.

Enjoy the great outdoors
Schedule time for an outdoor activity with your children. If you can’t manage a full excursion during the week, plan a weekend hike or bike ride. Each week take turns to pick a new route and plan it over the course of the week.

Schedule playtime
Plan family days that include activities such as bowling, miniature golf, or swimming. You could even plan a family game of tag in the back yard if you’re short on time, or during the week when you’re back from work.

Make chores an adventure
Instead of nagging your kids to tidy up, make it a game. Tell them the floor is lava and the only way to save their toys is to pick them up and put them away. Fighting dust bunnies? Give them a superhero name, and send them on a mission with a broom. Make other home-maintenance projects a family project. You’ll have a lovely home and a happy family as a result.

Plant a garden
Learning how to cultivate a garden will teach your children about the food system and how to grow their own vegetables. Sampling what they grow will also encourage healthy eating habits, while giving your children some responsibility for caring for plants gives them a good reason to get outside each day.

Limit screen time
This has to be said – one to two hours of screen time a day is the recommended limit for children, but some are logging way more. It’s important to set boundaries. Keep the TV out of your child’s bedroom and try to limit computer usage to school projects.

There are so many ways to encourage your kids to be active at home, without making it feel like a chore or punishment. The earlier you start, the more receptive they will be and the quicker healthy habits will be formed that they can carry into adulthood.

Healthy Living is a frequently updated content section brought to you by the Saudi Sports for All Federation. In the spirit of supporting our #HealthyActiveCommunity, we’re sharing tips around wellness, physical activity and more!

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