Instil exercise habits from a young age

Get children exercising at a young age to stave off obesity in later life

It’s easier to keep exercising if you’re being constantly encouraged to do so.

And one way to get that support is to involve the whole family in exercise-related activity. So instead of the whole team settling down in front of the TV after dinner why not wait twenty minutes or so to let your meal digest then set out on a family walk together, or maybe all pop down to the local bowling alley?

Shocking recent statistics from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reveal there’s a fifty percent chance a child will be obese if at least one of his or her parents already are. So maybe if we instil that exercise habit at a young age our offspring will have fewer weight problems as they get older because exercise has simply become a way of life for them. That’s certainly what we believe here at Overland Park Boot Camp anyhow.

So how can we get children to exercise in the first place?

  • Incorporate fun into the activities. For example get them to go on a treasure hunt round the woods rather than swim a set number of lengths in the pool
  • Make their activity a different form of exercise every time so they don’t get bored
  • Invite their friends along on the run, cycle or to play baseball in order to make it more of a laugh for all involved
  • Track your children’s exercise progress on a chart so that they have goals to aim for
  • Give them a cause to raise money for eg a local charity that they can collect sponsorship for by running or swimming a certain distance
  • Put the date in the diary. Inform all the family when the exercise will take place and let them know in no uncertain terms that you expect them all to turn up

Another good idea is to actually involve the children – and your other half – in the exercise planning. For instance, allow them to plan some of the activities (just don’t be surprised to find yourself going kite surfing or rock climbing!)

How much exercise should children get?

According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) infants shouldn’t be inactive for more than one hour and school age youngsters should be getting exercise every two hours. Exercise should be both organised and involve free playing (running around playing ‘it’ etc).

So now you know, there’s no excuse for you not to get exercising with them!

If you’re clean out of ideas, ask the trainers at Overland Park Boot Camp for inspiration to get your children moving.

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