Chris is a ten year old who spends most of his time in his own room playing video games, watching TV or surfing the Internet. There is little room for any outdoor activity in his daily routine. Chris loves to snack on cookies and chips. He is overweight and does not socialize much. Lately, he has become very shy and prefers keeping to himself.
Does this story sound familiar to you? Is your child caught in a similar situation? If your answer is 'yes', then it's time to plan a weight loss program for your child.
Planning Weight Loss Exercises
Weight loss exercises for the kids should be lively and fun. Keep changing the activity, so that it does not get monotonous for your child.
However, if he prefers to be on his own, include individual activities, like, walking and jogging, in his routine.
Consumption of processed foods and other high calorie foods, like ice creams and chocolates should be restricted, as they lead to childhood obesity. If possible, provide the kids with food prepared at home.
Motivation is the key to achieve good results. Following a particular exercise program and then maintaining it, needs a lot of motivation. Compliment your child in front of his friends, relatives, and teachers. Appreciation is a big source of motivation for kids.
Make the activities competitive. Put up a chart with your kid's name and the amount of time he needs to spend on exercising on that particular day. If he exercises more than the target set for the day, write the extra time on the chart. When he collects one extra hour of exercising, reward him by taking him out for a movie or a soccer game.
Remember, if a child is made to compete with himself rather than with others, his focus remains on self improvement instead of shifting to petty jealousies.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle yourself. Make exercising an integral part of your family time. Children follow the eating habits of their parents. So eat healthy yourself.
- Regular activities, like, running, jogging, and skipping can be made into fun activities, and included in your kid's daily exercise regime. Take your kid to a nearby park. Assign signals to each activity like one clap for running, two claps for jogging, etc. Give a particular signal and the kid has to do the corresponding activity. Change signs every 2 days.
- Let your child create his own game or dance routine. The entire family can participate in it. This way the family works out together thus, helping the kid to remain involved and enjoy his workout session without getting distracted.
- Ever thought watching TV can be a weight loss exercise for kids? Well, it can be. During the commercial breaks, plan a treasure hunt for him. Leave clues in various corners of the house. In the end, if he is successful, he gets an ice cream or chocolate, or his favorite dish. However, remember to keep the portion size small.
- Trampoline is fun and kids love it. Put one in the backyard, and if space is a constraint, use a mini trampoline, which can be easily adjusted in the house. Children can bounce, jog and run on it to lose weight.
Children can pose as a butterfly by sitting on their butt, their knees bend, joining the soles of their feet, and moving the knees up and down. They can also practice the cobra posture by lying on their stomachs, their hands on the ground under their chests and lifting the upper body, and lowering it again to the ground alternatively.
The workouts for kids can also be prepared along the lines of adult exercise programs, except the weight training part, as it can cause injury. The workout should always begin with warm-up exercises, like walking, followed by stretching. Cardiovascular exercises, like aerobics, and jogging on the spot should be conducted for at least 15 minutes.
For strengthening leg muscles - squats and step ups, for arm muscles - punching the air and pull ups, for abdominal muscles - crunches and for back muscles - back extensions, should be included in the workout routine.
If the kid is unable to follow any workout program, then here are a few easy tips. Replace fat burning exercises with household chores, like gardening, and cleaning the room. Ask them to use stairs instead of an elevator. Don't drop them off to nearby places by car. Instead, ask them to cycle or go walking.
Weight gain, not only leads to medical complications, but also has a huge psychological impact on kids. So, it's important for the parents to be supportive while the child is going through this important process. With proper planning, patience, love, and of course, a well-planned exercise routine, your child can turn into a healthy and well rounded person.