Family Play Time
Try to involve the whole family in physical activity. Your child is more likely to be active if you are active.
Choose some of your family's favorite activities, and come up with a few new ones. Then decide how many times each week you can add them to your activity schedule. Work up to sixty minutes of physical activity per day, five to seven days a week.
Before you begin family activities or encourage your child to become more active, keep the following points in mind:
- Overweight children may not feel comfortable in organized and competitive games. Choose activities where winning or performing well doesn't matter (like biking or walking the dog).
- More activity won't just happen. You need to help your child plan for it. Plan a family walk right after dinner. Arrange a family activity on weekends.
- Physical activity can be increased in small ways. When you go to the store, park farther away and walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or have your child push the shopping cart if he or she is able. Even daily chores can burn calories.
- Choose fun activities. When children have fun while exercising, they are more likely to continue enjoying it for the rest of their lives.
- Let your child try lots of activities. Offer choices like baseball, basketball, tennis, track and field, or soccer. Then let him choose what he likes to do best.
If Your Child Is Overweight: A Guide for Parents, 3rd edition. Susan M. Kosharek, MS, RD.