How your child spends his out-of-school hours has a direct impact on his fitness. One way you can encourage him is to set a good example. If you can find physical activities to do together, your child might be more motivated.
Here are some specific steps you can take:
- Limit TV-watching and video game playing—no more than two hours a day—for both kids and adults in the family.
- Give your child “fitness” gifts for birthdays—anything from jump ropes to in-line skates.
- Make his birthday party something physical. Indoor climbing gyms are popular with the younger set. Older kids might like ice skating, bowling, or facilities with climbing walls, which have become the “in” thing.
- Walk with him instead of driving whenever possible.
- Make family weekends and vacations active ones. Take a bike ride, swim, or go hiking.
- Offer him lessons in tennis, horseback riding, or some other activity he wants to try.
- Get exercise tapes with fun music that kids and adults can do together.