It may seem like mission impossible, but keeping your kids fit shouldn’t feel like you’re trying to disarm a code while dangling from a harness in a secret facility. So here are some tips on how you can keep your child active and healthy.
Make it fun
Experts recommend that children do at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. But how do you get kids to exercise regularly? Helping to keep your kids get fit doesn’t mean making them do laps around a field. Rather make it a reward by using it as an incentive to get your kids to do their homework or chores.
For example, you can tell them that if they finish their work you’ll take them swimming or on a bike ride. You can even turn it into a family activity, by going on a dog walk, playing catch or building a tree house. This can also include planning weekend activities to a national park or the beach.
Cut off access
On average children spend more than 3 hours a day watching television. This can be a large contributor to children’s weight gain. To combat this all you need to do is reduce your children’s screen time to 1 or 2 hours a day, then use this free time for physical activity.
During their screen time you can even add in some activity during commercial breaks. Make a competition out of it, such as who can do the most jump ropes or jumping jacks. If you have young children you can encourage them to sing along, march and dance to their favourite shows.
For all ages
Children at different ages will find different activities more stimulating and exciting than others.
Pre-schoolers need to develop their motor skills. This can include doing activities such as throwing or kicking a ball, skating, swimming, riding a bike with training wheels, swinging a bat and so on.
Keep in mind that it may be too early to introduce them to complex rules of team sports as they may lack the attention span, coordination and skills to play certain sports. So it’s important to teach them those skills so that it’ll be easier for them to get into it later on.
The challenge here is to help them find an activity that they enjoy the most. This is where you sign them up for team sports, such as martial arts, baseball, netball, basketball, rugby, etc., exposing them to as many as possible until they find the right one.
Teenagers or Older children
Your teenager will have many choices when it comes to physical activities, which can include school sports or after school activities, such as yoga, dance classes, etc. It is during this time that you must plan for physical activity, which is often placed between other responsibilities. So try and make things easier for them by providing the right gear, clothing, equipment as well as transportation.
Keeping your child physically active is not an impossible task. It can be challenging at times, but by following these tips you can get your child to move from being a coach potato to being active in no time.