Do you fear that your child could be turning into a couch potato? Exercise and physical activity are necessary to keep your kids healthy and to ensure they maintain a normal weight. However, between the Irish weather and the popularity of video games and TV, it can be a struggle to get your kids moving. Here are some simple steps to get your child away from the TV and up doing some exercise.
  • Go for a family trip to the swimming pool. Try and go every weekend, and if you have time, during the week as well. Kids tend to love swimming pools so it’s a fun way to ensure they are getting exercise. Try and get them swimming lessons as early as possible. The younger they learn, the more naturally it will come to them.
  • Have your child join clubs and teams where they will be active. Schools often have sports teams like basketball, football, or soccer. Or if your child isn’t interested in sports, have them take up Irish dancing or hip-hop dancing. Other activities they could take part in include gymnastics, tennis, badminton, athletics, tai-kwan-do, golf – there is something out there for everyone.
  • If your child gets pocket money for doing jobs around the house, then give them chores that will require them to move about. Get them to rake the leaves in the garden, sweep the floors, hoover the car, or even change bed sheets.
  • If it isn’t raining, get them outside. Have them do some gardening or help wash the car. Go on a family walk or have your kids race each other around the house.
  • Get your child a bike. Cycling is a fun way to get some exercise, so if they don't feel like going for a walk, you can suggest they bring their bike instead.
  • Having fun things like hoola hoops and rollerskates will also encourage your child off the couch. Skipping ropes and even water guns are a great way to get them moving.
  • Interactive computer games, such as the Wii, have games that encourage exercise. Dance games are particularly popular, so while your child is still enjoying their video games, they are also being active.
  • Set a good example. If you don’t get enough exercise, your child is unlikely to understand why it is important. If you serve as a good example of a person who cares about fitness, they will value fitness in their lives.