June 29, 2017

Make Family Fitness a Reality by Maggie Ayre

The latest research suggests that exercise is hugely beneficial for kids of all ages. In addition to health benefits we also see active children sleeping better, participating more and concentrating easier in class, as well as enjoying the benefits of additional self-confidence and raised self-esteem. Young people who lead active lives are likely to have more friends and enjoy a better body-image and body-awareness. They are likely to feel happier and more fulfilled and feel better able to cope with what life throws at them. Try the following approach for successfully instilling healthy habits:

Open Discussion. The best way to talk to your child about living healthily is to find a quiet relaxed time, perhaps out on a walk, and bring it slowly into the conversation. Ask your child what they know about living healthily and what it means to them. Ask your child how exercise makes them feel and if they have any particular activities they enjoy. Suggest ways you can incorporate these activities in their life and make suggestions for other activities based on what they particularly enjoy. Keep things relevant to the benefits they can experience now such as drinking more water for a better complexion, eating fruit and vegetables to feel better. Try not to concentrate on future health benefits as these have little relevance to children who want results now.

Family Time. One of the best ways to start being active as a family is through computer games such as the wii fit. Start slowly and keep it fun. Once your children are used to being active as a family, suggest bicycle rides to the park, walks that include a picnic, trips to the beach or swimming pool etc. You can be active around your house by having a race to see who can tidy their bedroom the quickest, or who can get dressed/un-dressed quickest, or by getting one member of the family to set a treasure hunt or obstacle course for the rest of the family to follow.

Prepare Healthful Snacks. As children get older it becomes harder to ensure their healthy food choices especially as you’re no longer with them all the time. The best way to ensure they eat healthily is to talk to them regularly about the benefits of eating healthy foods and why other foods may not be the best choice – healthy eating will ensure they have more energy, less mood swings, less illness, sleep better etc. This has to be backed up by being a good role model and ensuring that you enjoy a healthy diet too. Most teenagers will still look to their parent’s example before following what their friends and peers are doing. For many children the biggest time for slip-ups is coming home from school when a trip to the convenience store is just too tempting – help your child by ensuring they have a healthy snack in their bag to eat on their way home or let them know there will be something tasty waiting for them when they arrive home.

Maggie Ayre
Fitness Coach for Teenage Girls
www.maggieayre.com. www.seabreezefitness.co.uk
 
Maggie is also the author of the 3G Program for Teenage Girls, www.femalefitnessrevolution.com

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