How can I motivate my child to be more active?

Obesity rates are on the rise and the most alarming of all is the news that more and more children are affected by it. The health risks are serious; in fact, obesity that occurs early in life is more difficult to battle and makes your child more prone to developing life-threating conditions in the future. Fortunately, obesity can be prevented by encouraging your child to lead an active life and pick up healthy habits. This can be a bit difficult, with all sorts of temptations like computers and TV, but you can persuade them without being too authoritative. Here are some tips to help you out.

Help them find an activity that they really enjoy

If your child refuses to go outdoors and play, it’s because they have something better to do indoors. The fact that they spend most of their time playing PC games doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re antisocial, it just means that the physical activities they’ve tried didn’t work out so well. Instead of imposing a sport on your children, let them discover which one they like. There are many options out there, from 5 a side football leagues London and tennis clubs to hiking courses and skateboarding tournaments. Check out as many options as possible, because once your child discovers one he enjoys, he’ll practice it willingly.

Leave room for physical activity

Most parents are so concerned about their children’s education that they create all their schedule around it: school, homework, private classes, reading, more homework. Not only is this tiring for someone very young, but also unhealthy. Exercising is essential for healthy growth and development, so you shouldn’t leave it last on the list. To lower the risk of obesity, your child should be active every day.

Don’t exaggerate

At the other side of the spectrum are parents who expect too much from their children in terms of sports performance, often pushing them to the limit and making them hate exercising. The sport your child will practice should be chosen based on his preferences and physical capabilities. For example, 5 a side football is fun and safe option that most kids enjoy. Other options include cycling, swimming and basketball. Activities that should be avoided are heavy weight lifting (because a child’s muscles aren’t prepared for this) and intense running. Needless to say, all these physical activities should take place in a safe environment, under the supervision of a coach.