Childhood obesity is growing at a staggering rate. Kids disappearing into electronic words makes it tougher than ever to get them moving. I have compiled a list of suggestion that will not only help kids to get up and get moving but they will actually want to!
Kids don’t like “exercise”, but they will play for hours, particularly if you are there or if its fun. Bearing this in mind, make exercise time fun and get involved.
The benefits to kids goes on: weight loss, reduce diabetes, instill healthy lifestyle habit, reduction of anxiety, improved hand eye coordination, better natural sleep, improved concentration at school, stronger muscles and bones, self esteem etc.
Government health bodies recommended kids aged 5 and upwards have moderate to vigorous activity for upwards of 60 minutes EACH DAY.
Some tips for parents:
- Get active yourself!
- Be a good example to you kids and show them that exercise is natural, normal and important.
- Allow your child to work out for themselves what structured sports or activities they like to play and be supportive of their decision.
- Its not uncommon for young children to change sports numerous times a year when young.
- Don’t overinvest until they commit to a sport for a season or more.
- Be positive and tolerant where skills and efforts are concerned and don’t be too competitive as a sideline critic. Its very off putting for everyone.
- Start them young, make activity a normal part of their life.
- Explain the benefits of exercise in age appropriate terms they can understand. This will change over time as they grow.
- Supply toys that support active lifestyles, bikes, skateboards, frisbees, kites, balls, hoola hoops
- Limit screen time to less than 2 hours a day.
- Make chores fun.
- Play with them when they ask, walk or ride to the shops.
- Include a friend.
- Show them sporting basics from a young age, catch, kick, throw etc.
- Pay particular attention to any interests they may have ( martial arts, watching a sport, copying an older family member or friend ).
- Take a ball or frisbee in a family outing and include play time before or after an event such as lunch or a visit.
- Leave a radio on instead of television. Encourage dancing for fun.
- Get a dog, they will be a best mate to play with and will almost never tire.
- Take kids to a park for play date or coffee dates. When kids see a wide open space or a play centre they know what to do. Encourage and support them by joining in.
- Focus more on fun and worry less about exercise and games with complex rules.
- Supply plenty of water, hats and sunscreen year round.
Kids will have various levels of sporting intensity and participation. You may have it easy with a child who naturally takes an interest in a sport and participates regularly. If you don’t, use these tips above to make things easier for yourself. What ever exercise or activity you do with your kids, make it regular, make it fun and get involved.