9 Ways to Get Your Kiddos off the Couch

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The habits you form as a child are likely the habits you will carry with you throughout your life. While it’s never too late to make positive changes, establishing healthy habits early on makes it a lot easier down the road. Physical fitness is one healthy habit that should be encouraged as early as possible, especially if your child has diabetes.

Exercise is one of the best ways to balance your blood sugar and maintain a healthy weight. It makes you feel good, sleep well, and helps stave off a whole host of diseases that people with diabetes are at risk of developing. Exercise helps kids build muscle and stronger bones.

But it’s not just good for your body. Exercise can actually make you happy! It’s also great for cognitive health, as physical activity helps stimulate your brain. Studies have shown it actually improves memory and concentration, which are crucial during school-aged years.

However, in the age of cell phones, computers, tablets, and game consoles, getting your kids off the couch can be a real challenge. Who can’t relate to the desire to binge watch your favorite show at the expense of physical activity? So, we’re here to help with some tips (and a few tricks) to get your kids moving!

1. Give gifts that promote activity

While your kids might be asking for the latest and greatest technology, you can always guide some of their choices by giving gifts that promote activity. Who doesn’t remember their first bike? Looking for something a little less extravagant? Jump ropes, balls, skates, and yard games all make excellent gifts!

enfant sport frisbee attraper sauter vivre dtente plage

2. Help them appreciate the outdoors

Instilling an appreciation for nature can minimize the effort you have to put into encouraging them to go outside. Take advantage of local resources. Visit a park for a day hike, spend a weekend camping, go swimming in a lake or ocean! In addition to exercise, your kiddos will also be learning to respect the environment!

family with child hiking on holiday in austrian alps with lake and glacier view

3. Be a good example

If you set boundaries for yourself and stick to them (i.e. limiting the amount of time you spend on devices), and instead make being active a priority, it models healthier choices for your children. If they see you leaving each morning for the gym or coming back from a run after work, this shows them that exercise is a normal part of a healthy routine.

Mother and daughter doing yoga exercises on grass in the park.

L.D. and her ten-year-old lab, Eleanor Rigby Fitzgerald, moved to Seattle two years ago from Tucson, Arizona. They chose Seattle because they heard that's where they kept all the good coffee - plus Ella learned about grass. L. De Mello likes books, music, movies, running, and being outdoors as much as possible.
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