We all know that being physically active is beneficial to our health, but it can be difficult to find the time with our hectic schedules. Our children face the same difficulties. They have school, written assignments, extracurricular activities, and the attraction of television, video, and computer games, and if they have a phone, iPod, or iPad, they have easy access to not only movies and games but also the internet and social media.
Physical activity is beneficial to children’s bodies, and it encourages growth and development and should be inspired for younger children throughout the day. A minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity per day assists older children and adolescents in developing strong bones and muscles, increase endurance, and maintain a healthy weight.
According to growing evidence, mild to vigorous physical activity strengthens children’s critical thinking abilities, grade point averages, and standardized test scores.
Make time in your schedule for your children to participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, which can be broken up into smaller chunks throughout the day. Remember to reward, praise, and encourage your children’s physical activity.
Why is physical activity important for your child?
Here are the reasons why physical activities are important for children for their mental and physical health.
● Improves flexibility, which aids children in reducing muscle stiffness, lowering the risk of injury, and promoting good posture.
● Diverse physical activities aid in the development of gross motor and fine motor skills in children.
● It also improves their concentration, imaginative abilities, and critical thinking skills. It helps with cognitive development.
● Children are stressed, and physical activities help them de-stress and relax.
● Better quality sleep, which is essential for a child’s overall development.
● Social and emotional development, such as teamwork, self-confidence, and becoming an extrovert, are advantages.
● Enhances balancing and coordination
● Maintains a healthy weight because a physically active child does not accumulate most fats because they are burned into calories for those activities.
● Physical activity strengthens the heart muscles, pumps more blood into the body, and improves circulation. It also improves lung capacity, which promotes more oxygen in the blood.
Best ways to get your kids active
Children require both free play and specific instruction in physical skills to live healthy lifestyles. Physical education during the school day, when children are present, is a simple way to accomplish this goal. When your children are at home because school is out or canceled, set aside a specific time each day for them to engage in physical activity similar to what is done in school. Physical education that is age-appropriate and enjoyable is the best.
Be a role model
While many parents live by the motto, “Do as I say, not as I do,” we can have a greater impact on our children by modeling the healthy behaviors we want them to have. Make time for exercise in your daily or weekly schedule, and show your children that you are doing so.
According to national guidelines, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, so try to do something active for at least 30 minutes five days a week. If you are active, your children will most likely be active as well.
Instead of viewing physical activity as a chore, frame it as an important time to care for your body and health. Find activities that you enjoy and engage in them for at least 30 minutes five days per week. When your children see you having fun while being active, they are more likely to emulate your behavior.
Adults or children can hold active play. There are exciting indoor and outdoor games like hopscotch, Frisbee golf jump rope, dodge ball, badminton, and volleyball. When available, plan trips to a local bowling alley, swimming pool, or skating rink, depending on the season.
Organizing activities help to encourage children to participate in physical activities, and it helps them keep alert and exciting in every task they do.
Maintain screen time at minimum temptation
Today, most households have multiple televisions and various electronics, including video game systems and cell phones, making it difficult to resist temptation even for ourselves. However, it is critical to schedule time away from electronics for you and your children to do fun, active activities together.
Allowing your children to have a television or laptop in their room is not a good idea, and you should keep track of their electronic time. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should spend no more than one to two hours per day on screens.
But children of today are more engaged in social media and other entertainment platforms. Children are unaware of online threats, so you as a parent have to track your kid’s devices. The best option is to use parental control apps or spy apps to track your kids’ online activities.
Get help with household works
Encourage your kids to participate in active outdoor chores such as raking leaves, cutting grass, watering plants, sweeping walkways, and cleaning the garage. Playing upbeat music and encouraging everyone to complete chores as a family will make them more enjoyable.
Consider getting a pet
Allow yourself to be enticed by your children’s pleas. Pet ownership can automatically increase their activity levels in a fun way, in addition to being a great opportunity to teach them responsibility. According to research, dog owners take nearly twice as many daily steps as non-dog owners.
Make it your children’s responsibility to walk the dog on weekends, and plan a post-dinner family walks every evening during the week. Don’t forget to provide plenty of play opportunities.
Help your child find their passion
Your child will be more likely to stick with an activity if they are truly passionate about it, so help them find what they truly enjoy doing. Any physical activity is beneficial, whether it is baseball, dancing, or hiking. Remember that they don’t have to be the best at their chosen activity; what matters is that they enjoy it.
To sum up, the more you can do with your child, the more fun you will have as a family and the healthier you will be as a unit. Consider every time you exercise with your child to be an act of time banking – time you will be able to spend together in the long run because you will be living healthier, longer lives.
Put in the effort right now. Work out, get your kids to work out, and enjoy the time you’ll have together in a few decades. Be a role model for your family and encourage your child to do the same!