It is important to encourage childhood fitness early in life to ensure a lifetime of regular physical activity. A focus on childhood fitness can help to prevent childhood obesity as well as diabetes, and can encourage better health throughout a child's entire life. There are many different ways to encourage children to be physically active and to lead a non-sedentary lifestyle.
One of the best ways to encourage childhood fitness is to make it part of everyday life. When a child sees that his or her parents are active, and enjoy getting exercise, he will be more likely to want to join in. Make exercise a part of fun family activities; for instance, rather than sitting at home on the weekend, go for a hike as a family, go to a community center to swim in a pool, or play games outdoors in the park.
In addition, there are a number of classes at gyms that offer parents the option to bring their children with them. These classes are usually for younger children, typically toddlers and under, but they can get children used to exercising and having fun early in life. In addition, one way to encourage childhood fitness is to have a regular exercise program yourself. If your child sees you putting on your sneakers every day and going for a jog, he or she will be more likely to adopt similar habits later in life.
If you live in a neighborhood with lots of kids, try to start a play group and encourage parents and kids to get together regularly. In the play group, encourage the kids to play active games; kids won't even realize they are exercising if they are just having fun with friends. Encourage your child to get some exercise every day rather than just playing video games or sitting at the computer.
Another option to encourage childhood fitness is to sign kids up for organized team sports, if they express an interest. Schools often have different team sports for kids to join, such as basketball, baseball, softball, or football, among many others; programs such as dance or gymnastics may be offered as well, and kids can learn valuable skills while getting physically fit. Finally, schools and communities often offer after-school programs for kids where they can go to meet other children and get some exercise, so check to see if this exists in your area.