With adolescent obesity and obesity-related illnesses on the rise, it’s important to keep our kids active so they can be the healthiest version of themselves. This can be challenging in a world full of temptation from screens. How can you motivate your tweens and teens to get up off the couch? Here are some ideas.
Start slowly – Remember, always check with your child’s physician before starting a new exercise regimen. If your teen or tween isn’t used to exercising, start out slowly. If you push your child to do too much, he or she is going to be sore and miserable, and that can be very demotivating when starting a new exercise regimen.
Make it fun – Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. Get your child interested in exercise by making it fun! Doing things like taking a dance-based fitness class together, going for a family walk (bring the dog along too!) or having a dance party will make the whole experience much more enjoyable.
Set rules for screen time – This is a challenge many families face because technology is such a huge part of our existence. Sit down as a family and make some rules for screen time. It will help your teen or tween if they see you leading by example, so try to cut down on your screen time and increase your time exercising as well.
Encourage sports – Sports are a fun way to get in shape and build friendships. Encourage your teen or tween to try new sports. If your child isn’t into competition, encourage a solo sport like running or cycling.
Build strength – The older way of thinking was that you had to do a lot of steady-state cardio to get in shape. New studies have discovered that resistance exercises done three days per week will increase muscle, strength and power while lowering body fat in children. You don’t need an expensive set of weights or a gym membership to do this either. There are many body weight exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges, planks and other simple moves that can help your tween or teen get into tip-top condition.
Have an outdoor adventure – Try a new activity with your child that gets everyone moving and excited. Go for a hike to a scenic waterfall. Try snowboarding or skiing. Learn how to roller skate or ice skate. Go sightseeing in a big city and take lots of pictures. You never know what activities your child will enjoy until you get out there and try everything.
Remember, gradual lifestyle changes will build good habits that can last a lifetime. Don’t push too much, too fast. Give your teen or tween some grace if they slip up. Encourage your child along the way so that they can pave the road to becoming a healthy adult.
Competitive Edge aims to develop the “complete athlete” using performance sports training in Woodbridge, VA and surrounding areas. Members are able to enhance their athletic performance and develop a competitive edge to excel in their desired sport.