FIT TIP: Introduce Your Kids to Sports
While Wii Tennis is a blast, it will never be the same as the real thing. Grab your rackets and head out to the courts as a family instead!
Introducing your kids to sports while at their side is a great way to spend time together and encourage an active lifestyle at a young age. Plus, kids who participate in sports develop stronger muscles and bones, have a reduced risk of obesity, improved coordination and sleep better. Here’s how to get the ball rolling (literally)!
Limit Screen Time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting children’s screen time to no more than or two hours a day. This means setting limits on TV, iPad and gaming time, while encouraging the first step to sports … fresh air. Lead by example and leave the couch!
Get Involved. Instead of handing your child a soccer ball and heading back inside, join and instruct them. Teach them your favorite moves from your favorite sport. Make 15 minutes of playing catch or kicking a soccer ball back and forth after dinner part of your family’s normal routine. Your child will be more likely to stick with it if they see you enjoying it, too!
Use the Driveway. Your blacktop offers a plethora of athletic options, with no field necessary! Get out those jump ropes, hula-hoops and a basketball. Grab some chalk and draw a ladder on the driveway and time yourselves doing fast feet or single leg jumps along the rungs. Tell your child that their favorite professional athletes do the same drills to work on agility! Get a quick pick-up game of hoops started or play a game of four square. Try to think of it as active family playtime instead of workout time.
Run a Race. This time of year is filled with mile runs and 5K races, and they’re not just limited to adults. Lace up your sneakers and run one together! Kids seem to have boundless energy and a race is a great opportunity to channel that energy in a positive way. Finishing a race not only teaches your children that they can have fun being healthy, but that their accomplishments (especially as crowds are cheering them on) will do wonders to boost their self-esteem.