These days, kids have a lot of things going on in their lives: increasing demands at school, extracurricular activities, and busy working families. Parents overlook that children need to spend at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
Even if you're battling your children's temptation for screen time and a growing pile of tasks, there are simple ways you can encourage your kids to move and be active. With the right information, you can help your children maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.
Make Fitness Part of Your Family's Routine
Kids find inspiration in the people closest to them. Seeing their parents devoting time to physical activities will likely urge them to do the same. When children know you enjoy exercising, you become a good role model for your kids to emulate.
Make it a habit for the whole family to do some form of physical activity. Start by running together every morning for at least 15 minutes. On weekends, go to the park and play frisbee or kites. If it suits your time, walk or bike with your kids.
If you can’t go outside to workout due to weather, don’t let that be an excuse! Push the furniture aside in your living room to make some space for a workout, or if you have the room for it, consider converting the garage or spare room into a small gym!
Join Organized Physical Activities
Let your kids watch different sports like basketball, badminton, or soccer. You can also try other physical activities like dancing or yoga. From there, observe which one they prefer— is it competitive sporting activities or fitness routines outside sports?
If your children are not sports-minded, perhaps you can sign them up for a ballet class or a summer gardening workshop. Meanwhile, if your kids are veering toward sports, accompany them during local tryouts. Whether they choose sports or not, the important thing is that you support your children in staying engaged in physical activities.
Choose Developmentally-Appropriate Physical Activities
Aside from your children's interests, you have to consider how young they are. For instance, it may not be suitable for children as young as seven to try rock climbing. Instead, they can go swimming or try Zumba.
If you have preschoolers, this is the best time to develop their motor skills. You can do this by creating running obstacle courses or letting them ride a bike with training wheels. Meanwhile, school-aged kids can start trying out a range of physical activities or sports like martial arts or baseball.
Make Screen Time an Active Time
Most households now have several gadgets like televisions and computers. Even kids own cellular phones, tablets, or laptops. While it's good to have screen-free time, you can also take advantage of technology to get your children to remain interested in activities.
For instance, you can set a time when your kids can only use their gadgets for play or homework. There are children who are more keen to participate in activities once devices are involved. In this case, you can download active games or dance videos for the whole family.
Turn Household Chores Into Fun Activities
Some kids do not like household chores, but part of being active is teaching your young ones how to be disciplined. Besides, most errands would require the body to move, so you'll be hitting two birds with one stone.
Begin with weekly outdoor chores such as washing the car or pulling weeds. Eventually, you can incorporate daily tasks such as watering plants, sweeping the backyard, or taking the dog for a walk.
Organized activities can be expensive for some families. Going on daily walks or bike trips may not be feasible for working parents. This doesn't mean there are no ways to motivate your kids to be more active.
Spend a couple of hours after work for some dance routines. Use gaming consoles to play tennis or badminton, even if you are in the living room. Whatever physical activity you can think of, what's essential is that you keep your children moving as much as you can.