Looking at the world today, you may feel trepidation about your children’s health and fitness. You see startling statistics about the rates of depression, obesity, and other issues.
For example, 30 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 11 were over the proper weight in the period from 2011 to 2012. Fortunately, you can take steps to preclude some of these issues from happening or reducing their effects if they do come to fruition.
Below are some ways to prepare your child for a healthy future.
With the abundance of electronic devices and Internet-based entertainment, too many children are spending their free time watching television and playing on the computer. Encourage your kids to get outdoor activity most days of the week is wise. Tell them to ride their bikes around the neighborhood or play with their friends. If you prefer a more structured environment, sign them up for sports in the community. Limit their screen time to a specific amount per day, or require them to do something creative or physically stimulating before they are allowed to use the devices.
Look to the Future
When children constantly hear you discuss the future in a downtrodden way, they may integrate these negative patterns into their own conversations and thoughts.
Instead, look to healthy future activities, such as vacations and upcoming classes, with hope.
As your children grow older, start to really investigate their potential careers with them. For example, you may explore an online healthcare administration degree or encourage them to take a forensics class in their high school.
Teach How to Ask for Help
Your kids might be experiencing internal battles that you know nothing about. These battles can manifest in self-destructive behavior or negative habits. While you want to raise independent children who can handle the struggles that life sends their way, you also want to encourage them to know when to ask for help. For example, you should not stigmatize therapy. Let your kids know how useful therapy can be when dealing with certain issues.
Cook Healthy Meals Together
When you are in a busy routine, it can be difficult to cook any meals at all. Integrating healthy foods into the routine can seem like more of a hassle. Instead of ignoring this important area of health, take the time to cook with your kids. You can even prepare meals on Sunday for the rest of the week. This will teach your children skills they need to cook at home, instead of constantly relying on fast food or takeout, which is very unhealthy.
If your children are constantly spending time by themselves, they may grow anxious and depressed. Socializing with peers can help to alleviate tension and stress. Also, when kids play with one another, they are getting in necessary physical activity. The bonds they form with other children may encourage them to become leaders in group activities at school or in the community.
Health and fitness don’t start when your kids are older. They begin now, and you can help to foster the process for a healthy future. While you’re encouraging your own child to be better, why not work hard yourself to get more physically fit? These skills will benefit you as well, and it’s always easier to do something when there are others you can count on and who keep tabs on your progress.
What are ways you help your children for a healthy future?
This is a guest post written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for health, women’s interests, and parenting interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.