In today’s world, only 1 in 3 children are active on a daily basis. Kids and teens spend more than 7 hours a day on electronic devices like computers, mobile phones, and tablets.

These factors are largely responsible for child obesity in America – which affects one out of every five children across the nation according to the CDC. Obesity can lead to serious complications later in life, such as heart disease and hypertension.

Fortunately, parents can take action to help make sure that their kids are more active. Following these guidelines will help prevent childhood obesity, and instill healthy habits that children can carry into their adult lives.

Here are the tips you need to know:

  • Talk to your child’s pediatrician before beginning any plan. The doctor can determine a healthy weight range for your son or daughter, taking their height and frame into account. A doctor will be able to recommend the right sports or activities to help your child.
  • Help your child select a fun activity. Your son or daughter is much more likely to be active when doing something he/she enjoys. You can also get the entire family involved with hobbies, so that everyone can benefit from the exercise.
  • Make sure the activities are age appropriate. You don’t want to push your child too far and risk an injury. A 7 or 8 year old, for example, should never take up weight lifting. Riding bicycles or taking swimming lessons are more reasonable selections.
  • Plan ahead for safety. Regardless of which activity you choose, you need to make sure safety is the top priority. Check the equipment and site to make sure there are no dangers like broken glass or rusted metal. You also need to make sure your child’s clothing is comfortable and appropriate for the level of activity.
  • Join in. Children benefit greatly from having an active role model. The more active you are, the easier it’ll be for them to develop good habits. You’ll be able to teach them how to get better at the sport or activity while also improving your bond.
  • Make progress gradually. The more overweight your child is, the more gradually you’ll need to introduce exercise. Don’t expect too much per session and listen to them for signs of fatigue – you don’t want to cause any negative emotional connections with exercise.

Your child’s health is important, so monitoring their physical activity should be one of your top priorities. Help them live a longer, healthier life.