The Challenge – Motivating Children to Be Active
Could a competition that is fun and use technology be a motivator to get children active? I can tell you this plan motivated 300 employees at my work place to get healthy, and it can work for your family too! Here's the scoop:
– 3 month duration for the competition; a cool prize for the winner is in order!
– The person with the most points wins.
– A spreadsheet or calendar needs to be created for each person, so points can be tracked daily. Points can be earned in the following manner:
O Being Active:
– Burn 100 calories – 10 points each work-out.
– Burn 200 calories – 20 points each work-out.
– For 3 work-outs a week – get 25 bonus points.
– For 5 work-outs a week – get 50 bonus points.
O Eat Healthy:
– 5 points per (2) serving of vegetables or fruit or a combination.
– 5 points to drink water or low-fat milk for the DAY; no juice, chocolate milk, or any other sugary drink.
– 5 points to avoid cookies, chips and other unhealthy snacks.
O Sign-up for a Sports Team – 100 points per sports team.
O Complete a 1K charity event – 100 points per event.
O Weight Loss:
– 5 pounds – 50 points.
– 10 pounds – 100 points.
– 15 pounds – 150 points.
To track the 'Being Active' points, download the MAPMYFITNESS app onto your smart phone. That app can be used for walking, running, biking, stair, mowing the lawn, and many other 'active' items. The app tracks your time, distance, pace and will let you know how many calories you burn once you save the work-out. If you have more than one child working out a one time, also download the MAPMYRUN and/or MAPMYWALK app. That way, each child can have their own 'program' and track their progress on (1) phone! The MAPMYFITNESS, MAPMYRUN and MAPMYWALK are all free, and they track the same activities (walking, running, biking, etc.).
While the competition is ongoing, if you notice a food the kids really like (types of fruit or veggies), make sure to always have those foods around; hopefully this healthy eating behavior will continue once the competition is over. One other to note: limit their fruit intake. Not that fruit is bad, but have the kids crave fruit, so only give them a small quantity of fruits at each setting so that the fruit is a treat.
This competition will work once a year; if you try to do this competition more often (like back-to-back for a 6 month period), it might not be as fun for the kids. If the kids like competing, then do a 'biggest loser' contest based on the percentage of weight lost. Or have a competition to see who can run the fastest 3K; and make sure to train for a month or two! Or make up your own competition or modify the competitions mentioned – make it 'fit' your family!
Still need more information on fitness or a healthy eating plan for your child? As a mom of two, I have some tips and products that could get you and your child on the right path! Visit get healthy [http://www.texastornadochildren.com/support-your-childs-healthy-eating-habits/] at [http://www.texastornadochildren.com/].
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