Parents can play a key role in helping their child become more physically active. Here are 11 suggestions:
Lead by example – be physically active yourself.
Emphasize fun. Help your child find a sport that they enjoy. The more they enjoy the activity, the more likely they will be to continue it. Get the entire family involved. It is a great way to spend time together.
Provide a safe environment. Make sure your child's equipment and where they practice or play is safe. Make sure your child's clothing is comfortable and appropriate for the activity.
Provide active toys. Young children especially need easy access to balls, jump ropes, and other active toys.
Make sure that some family outings offer opportunities for physical activity, such as playing sport together.
Encourage your child to walk or ride their bicycle for short trips, rather than rely on you to drive them.
Make time for exercise. Some children are so overscheduled with homework, music lessons, and other planned activities that they do not have time for exercise.
Support your child’s efforts in sport. Make sure you’re there at each training session or match, cheering them on from the sidelines.
Set time limits on sedentary activities like computer games and television.
Consult with your child’s school on ways to encourage greater participation in sports and physical activity.
Do not overdo activity. Exercise and physical activity should not hurt. If it becomes painful, your child should slow down or try a less vigorous activity. As with any activity, it is important not to overdo it. If exercise starts to interfere with school or other activities, talk with your child's doctor.