One of the greatest gifts you can pass on to your children is the love of physical activity. Besides, the earlier, the better.
Participating in physical activity from an early age aids children’s muscle and motor skill development. This includes balance, agility, coordination, power, speed and reaction time. Apart from that, it helps improve their hand to eye coordination and reduces the risk of muscle injuries from physical exertions later in life.
Asides the obvious health benefits of exercising, it is also a fantastic way to bond with your kids. Exercising together will ensure that you enjoy plenty of memorable moments and conversations with your kids.
Experts recommend that children get at least an hour of exercise daily. However, not every child can endure a one-hour session. That’s okay because there are plenty of ways for children to meet their daily quota. This can include their usual running and playing about.
Moreso, sports will help your children develop life skills such as cooperation and competitiveness.
Active children are healthy children who grow up to become active healthy adults who raise their own active, healthy children. Here’s how to create a healthy foundation for your precious children with these 10 simple tips.
1. Lead By Example
Let your love of exercise rub off on your children by exposing them to your routine. Show them how fun it is to be active and encourage them to join in, if not for the full length of your routine, then for as long as they can.
2. Put Exercise On Your Daily To-Do List
Every day should be exercise day. Create a daily exercise schedule for your family and get them to stick to it. It could be a run at dawn, a bike ride after school or a stroll in the evening, whatever fits you and your family’s lifestyles. Whatever you do, make sure it’s something you can all have fun doing together.
3. Make Exercise Fun
Engage your children in fun outdoor games as often as you can. Games like catch, two on two football and hopscotch will help your children get the workout they need while ensuring that they will never get bored.
4. They Can Be Active Indoors Too
Children can do more indoors than just watch television, browse the internet or play video games. Good indoor activities for your children include dancing and for younger children, balloon volleyball, hide and seek and blowing bubbles. Older children can engage in more regimented workouts like yoga, cardio a treadmill session.
5. Don’t Drive When You Could Just Walk
Encourage your child to take a stroll when their destination is a walkable distance away as long as it is safe and they are not pressed for time. If your child is unwilling to walk alone, then you should offer to walk with them if you have the time to spare. Conversely, you could invite your child to walk with you when you take a stroll.
6. Actively Encourage Your Children To Take Up Sports
Every Child has a talent for at least one sport and it is your job to help your child find what he/she is good at. Playing sports not only helps your children stay fit, but it also teaches them discipline, teamwork, it brings out their competitive edge and helps them learn to handle disappointment.
7. Pick A School With a Good Physical Education Program
Enrol your child in a school that prioritizes your child’s physical development alongside their educational development. Your child’s school should offer the chance to play organized sports as well as the freedom to play in informal settings like the playground.
8. Buy Them Active Toys
Toys are not just meant to entertain children and occupy their time. Certain toys can encourage children to exercise their minds and their bodies. Provide your children with toys like balls, skipping ropes, bicycles and trampolines that encourage them to move around.
9. Limit Their TV Time
Television is addictive and unfortunately, it encourages laziness. The rising childhood obesity rates are directly linked to children’s addiction to television and other digital media like video games, the internet and social media. Turning the TV off for a while forces your child to get on his feet, possibly get out of the house and find creative ways to stay entertained.
10. En-Able Your Child
If you have a child with a disability, your instincts would be to be protective of them, but you must not be over-protective. Encourage your child to be as physically active as possible within the confines of a doctor’s directives. Be patient with your child and praise them for any progress achieved.
Celebrate the little things like them simply having fun and praise them for trying.