6 Healthy Habits to Encourage in Your Kids

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Parents can help their children develop healthy habits early in life. This will bring lifelong benefits. As a parent, you can encourage your children to learn good habits that may include good social skills, good manners and also help them evaluate some of their healthy food choices and physical activity habits.

So, how can you encourage your children to get that healthy level of physical activity? Here are some ideas :

Get your kids outside when they first get home from school. It’s a great time to be out and active — riding bikes, shooting baskets, jumping rope or playing tag with friends.

  • Be active together. Go for a bike ride with your child. Kick a ball around. Explore a nearby park. Kids pay close attention to how the adults in their live act. If you enjoy activities together, you’re motivating your children by demonstrating that it’s fun for you, too.
  • Make good use of nearby playgrounds. They are designed to encourage physical activity in ways kids love. Try out different playgrounds on different days.
  • Coordinate with other parents so your child can be out and active with friends. Some physical activities are simply more fun with friends.
  • Help your child find a sport they enjoy, and look for opportunities for organized practice and training. Does your child love gymnastics, tennis, basketball, soccer,  running, dancing or one of the martial arts? Seek out a league, team or gym where they can get expert instruction and connect with others who enjoy the same activities.
  • Make opportunities for physical activity indoors. If your child enjoys dancing, clear space and put some music on.
  • Limit sitting screen time, especially at times of day when it’s light outside and when the weather is good. TV and online games are enticing to children and adolescents, and once they start it’s hard for them to pull away. If you allow them at all during the week, it should only be after time for physical play and after the homework is done.

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The key is to encourage physical activity that your kids enjoy. They should see it as play, not as a forced exercise. It should be a part of their day they look forward to. When kids have active time every day, they feel better. They’re calmer. They sleep better. Their thinking is sharper. And their hearts are healthier.