It’s no secret that fitness and weight loss are a major concern for many people these days and it’s no longer just a problem adults suffer with. Kids and teens are affected by a lack of activity and an increase in waist size like no other time in history.
Let’s face it, we are less active and eat less nutritionally dense food than ever.
- We choose sedentary activities before physical ones.
- We do less and eat more.
- We spend less time preparing real nutrient dense food, opting instead for processed food with little to no nutritional value.
- Technology has distracted us to the point of severe and dangerous levels of inactivity.
And our kids model our less-than-ideal habits.
But there are things you can do to empower your children to transform their lives so they can be fit and healthy for a lifetime.
Staying active is key to a healthy lifestyle, but when it comes to kids it’s a whole other ballgame. Kids aren’t going to respond well to “exercise” simply for the sake of “exercise” and it may leave them with an unhealthy resentment of all things physical.
The key to getting kids excited about exercise it to make it fun. It’s as simple as that. Activities like kickboxing, white water rafting, hiking, surfing, parks, adventure courses, tubing and rock climbing provide amazing fitness and totally are disguised as fun.
There are other ways you can add simple fitness into their lives. Visiting a theme park, the zoo, or the mall involves a lot of walking, and so long as you don’t indulge in the junk food provided at these places, they really can be a great way to keep kids active without them even realizing it.
Even more than adults, kids gravitate towards what tastes good. It’s all they know, especially if their parents are leading by example. Explaining how the body works as why certain foods are good and certain foods are bad can go a long way towards helping kids make better choices when it comes to their food.
How often to we say “because I said so” and force kids to simply do as they are told because, well, they are the kids and we are the parents. But when it comes to nutrition, you want them to have a healthy view of the foods that are good for them, and forcing them to eat things they are resistant to try isn’t the way to establish that.
Educate them about nutrition but also involve them in the family food choices. Let them choose between 2 or 3 different healthy options, and then let them help prepare it. Show them how to make nutrient dense foods taste good!
Support is critical for kids who are dealing with weight issues. There is a lot of pressure to fit in and not feel like they are being targeted or experiencing their struggles alone. Family support is important. You don’t want to single out your child and change their diet while the rest of the family continues to eat poorly. Peer support is also important. Being able to connect with other kids their age who are going through the same thing can help them make huge strides with their self-esteem and fuel their desire to make long-term changes.
Kids need to understand that their health and their future is within their control, we just need to give them the tools to help them succeed and accept that control. Information is power, and helping them understand the importance of proper nutrition beyond just saying “because it’s good for you” is critical to the nutrition aspect of empowerment.
Other tools to help empower them include fitness (step) and food trackers (these can be tracked on paper or via a free app), proper equipment like hiking shoes, weight lifting gloves, etc. and even tickets to places like batting cages and indoor trampoline facilities.
Another way to help empower kids is to provide them with the opportunity to accept responsibility for things like preparing family meals and choosing weekend activities.
We all work harder towards a goal when there is the potential for something fun and shiny when you reach it, and kids are no different. Establishing a system of rewards for certain milestones or activities can help keep them motivated, provided the rewards system doesn’t imply that leading a healthy lifestyle has an end date. And never, ever reward them with food.
Rewards will vary based upon each child’s personality, likes and dislikes but can include things like computer time, a trip to the movie theater, new shoes, art classes, a new bike, the latest fitness wearable, a small trip or even things that don’t cost money such as breakfast in bed or being able to choose the game for family game night.
Overall these 5 steps are simple to understand and with a little bit of focus and effort, they can help the entire family get and stay healthy right along with the kids. But there are options if you need some help implementing these steps and seeing success.
Wellspring Camps are structured camp environments for kids, teen & young adults, that offer a scientific approach to weight loss with the goal of long-term health. Wellspring Camps are set against a backdrop of a fun and invigorating outdoor environment that encourages lasting weight loss and healthy transformations that last a lifetime.
Wellspring Camps are different from other weight loss camps, they focus on providing the 5 key factors above.
They have activities including kickboxing, white water rafting, surfing, kayaking, tubing, scavenger hunts and personal training. They teach how to prepare healthy meals and focus on establishing a diet that is sustainable long after the campers arrive at home.
Wellspring offers support and camaraderie as well. Campers are grouped by age and each camper is assigned their very own coach to help them get the most out of their time there. They also encourage family involvement by providing workshops for the entire family.
Campers are empowered to take control of their own health by tracking their food and their steps. All campers are given a step tracker and a paper food tracker to self-monitor their food intake. Campers are also offered rewards and privileges based upon goals they reach and activities they complete.
Wellspring campers have shown an average weight loss of 4 lbs. per week and over 30 lbs. in 8 weeks, but Wellspring doesn’t focus on weight loss, they focus on long-term lifestyle changes for lasting health.
Wellspring truly helps empower kids and families to lose weight permanently.
Wellspring Camps can be found in the following states:
- New York
If you are interested in Wellspring Camps you can save $600 on summer sessions! Simply enroll using the code “success” for this life changing experience.
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One winner will receive a Fitbit Flex to jumpstart your healthy lifestyle. To enter simply leave a comment that answers this question:
What top three activities would YOU enjoy most at Wellspring Camps?