Moms, let’s be real. Gone are the days when the street lights were used to call kids inside at the end of an afternoon of play. For many kids (and adults) that time of being outside and active has been quickly replaced by the blue light glare of a smartphone and the latest viral TikTok sound on repeat.
And while I can’t even sit here for one iota of a minute and pretend like I’m not guilty of relying on technology a little heavier than I care to admit, I still long for a little less tech time and a little more quality time spent doing anything other than looking down at a screen. If you’ve felt like you’ve spent more of your time sitting than being active, trust me, it’s not just you, and your kids are probably feeling it too.
Here are a couple of hard-hitting stats that happen when we replace physical activity with sedentary tech time:
- A 2019 study, research found that children are in a decline year-over-year in physical activity starting at the age of four. FOUR!
- According to the World Health Organization, more than 80% of girls and boys aged 11-17 globally are not meeting the health requirement to get in even one hour of physical activity per day.
- At the same time, almost 70% of kids are getting more than the recommended daily screen time (no more than 2 hours) according to the National Survey of Children’s Health.
You guys, I feel like so many of our kids are growing up without understanding health, nutrition, and the importance of physical exercise, yet they know how to floss (dance, not their teeth, although they hopefully know how to do that too!). The proof is in the pudding with those stats above. Our kids are spending more time on their phones than they are being active. Adults, we are guilty of this too.
Top 3 Tips to Inspire Your Kids to Get Moving
All of these stats got me thinking: Another school year is almost over, summer is on the horizon. Let’s embrace it and create some change for ourselves and our kids. This summer, I am vowing to make digital detoxes a normal thing around this household. Not just for my sanity, but because I want my kids to value and understand the importance of taking care of our bodies and minds.
The example starts with me, right?! So…if you want to take this unofficial challenge with me, here are three tips to help you inspire your kids to set down the phones and get up and move just a little bit more this summer. All of these changes will hopefully stick throughout the rest of our lives! Healthy habits, you guys!
Make it a routine for yourself + your family
Fitness and physical health doesn’t have to feel like a chore, and it doesn’t have to take very long, either. Figure out a schedule that works for you and your family, and then implement it into your daily or weekly routine.
Here’s a great way to start:
- Start your mornings out with a quick walk or bike ride around the block.
- Mornings too crazy? Make it your nightly routine to move together as a family after dinner. A post-dinner walk is a great way to digest your food and your day!
Related: Looking for even more? Click here for some quick and easy ways to create a great workout routine.
Whatever time works for you and whatever routine works, make it stick. Schedule it into the family planner for the week and stick to one important rule: No technology allowed (unless it’s a workout video or app). Get together as a family, get outdoors, and enjoy the movement and the time together.
Let your kids pick the activity
I’ll be the first to tell you that the pandemic did a number on youth sports for my kids. That doesn’t mean they lost interest in the things they love. But if your kids are anything like mine, this one loves basketball, and this one dislikes basketball but loves another sport. Hey, they’re little individuals, right? Instead of forcing the kids to partake in activities they dislike, have them rotate and choose what activity you’re going to do together.
Remember, what works for one kid may not work for another. Take turns choosing which type of activity you’ll do together as a family and seek out different things you can enjoy. Maybe one week it’s going for a hike on a trail you haven’t visited before, and maybe the next it’s going to the trampoline park or rock climbing. Look for ways to have fun together, play together, and make it healthy—all at the same time.
Be the example
Does anyone remember the old photos and videos of Ruby doing her best “Heidi in the gym impressions?” Well if you don’t, the above photo is proof! You guys, it’s not an exaggeration that our kids see and hear everything we do. Especially the things we wish they wouldn’t, right?! But keep that in mind and always strive to set an example. Here are a couple of easy ways WE can get moving:
- Park further away when you go somewhere with them
- Take the stairs over the elevator
- Walk or bike with them to school if you’re able to
Encourage your kids (and yourself) to stick to that new daily routine you set. Make your health a priority, and they’ll learn naturally to do the same.
What are some of your tried-and-true methods to instill healthier habits into your children’s lives? Also, what are some ways you use technology in your house? It’s one of those things that will continue to evolve, so being able to make good decisions for our kids is so important as they continue to get access to more and more!
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