Let’s face it, the current era has got all children associated with television, play stations, video games, and iPods. With increasing exposure to technology and media, children are naturally spending less time outdoors and becoming less physically active. Participation in all types of physical activities is critical for both the mental and physical development of your little one, particularly during the first few years of life. However, as a parent or caregiver, it can be hard to help your children get the physical activity they need daily. Wondering what you can do to get and keep your child physically active? We have got you covered. Healthsaverguide team shares the list of top five ways to help your child move more and sit less.
The Benefits of Participation in Physical Activities for Children
Regular physical activity is beneficial for everyone- but it is especially vital for young children. Being physically active for children is vital for a wide variety of reasons. Being physically active helps children:
- Maintain good sleeping patterns
- Reduce overweight and obesity
- Prevents future pain
- Develop better social skills
- Develop strong bones and muscles
- Improve motor skills including flexibility, balance, and dexterity
- Develop healthy lungs and heart
- And many more
Encouraging your little one to partake in physical activities outdoors has numerous advantages during early childhood development.
Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Child Physically Active
The following is a list of five awesome tips to keep children physically active, fit, and healthy:
1. Be a Role Model
There is a saying that young children learn mostly by watching and imitating adults. So, they pick bad and good habits by watching and listening to their parents, siblings and caregivers. A child who regularly sees his or her parents enjoying physical acuity and sports is more likely to do so herself or himself. It is, therefore, a good idea to add physical activity to your routine and encourage your little one to join you. Make your little one jump around the house, run with you and dance with you. Children love it when their parents or caregivers play with them.
2. Think of A Physical Activity They Enjoy
Is your child interested in any sports or physical activities? Help your little one discovers a physical activity he or she finds interesting. Whether it is as simple as dancing or hide and seek, the most important thing is that your child finds joy whenever he or she participates in that physical activity. The more a child enjoys an activity, the more he or she will continue it.
3. Cut Down Screen Time
As already mentioned earlier, in the current era one of the biggest obstacles to physical activities and outdoor games for little ones is probably the availability of multiple screens for them to entertain themselves instead. Some data has shown that children in Australia are spending more time than ever before lying down or sitting, often because of the increased use of electronic media. Prolonged screen time negatively affects the physical and mental well-being of children. That’s why it is advisable to limit recreational screen time to one to two hours each day to keep it from becoming a nasty habit. Have your child spend less time using the computer or watching television. To help fight the temptation, remove TVs from your child’s bedroom and place the computer or laptop in a shared area where you can supervise. Use free time for more outdoor games and physical activities.
4. Walk, Run, or Ride a Bike (Don’t Drive)
Next to prolonged screen time, dependency on vehicles, and public transport is one of the biggest reasons children, as well as adults, are not as physically active nowadays as they once were. Walking to school and other short distant places have been replaced by car rides, and other outdoor activities and games have been replaced by online games. And, this is one of the main contributors to childhood obesity. Walking to and from school puts your little one in a great mood and walking outdoors is an ideal way to find calm and enjoy the natural environment. In a high screen usage era, encouraging your child to walk to school and other nearby places has numerous health benefits.
5. Don’t Overdo It
As with any activity, it is important to keep in mind not to overdo it. When your little one is ready to start, be sure to tell them to listen to their body. Physical activity and exercise should not hurt your little. Besides, maintaining a healthy diet is as critical as including physical activity in your child’s daily routine. Your little one should be eating a variety of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and drinking plenty of water.
The Bottom Line
Adding more interesting physical activity into your family’s daily routine will help you all, feel better, and enjoy more family time together. Do you have any more awesome tips to encourage young children to be more active? Share them with us in the comment section so that we can publish them in the next post.