Being a parent is no easy task, especially as we are currently battling through a pandemic. It can become challenging to find ways to stay active with your child while being stuck at home. However, as children are beginning to lose interest in doing things around the house it is important that we as adults find ways to keep them healthy and active and ready to get back to their normal lives.
Physical Activity Recommendations By Age
The older children get, the more inclined they are to lose the desire to be physically active. With our generation revolving around technology, this has become more true as time passes. Maintaining an active lifestyle early can be crucial in the mental and physical growth for a child. This includes:
- Increased confidence and self esteem
- Increased concentration
- Body weight regularity
- Muscle Development
- Likelihood to stay active as they age
- Long term Health
- Ages 3-5 need about 3 hours of active time per day
- Ages 6-17 need about 60 mins of physical activity per day
5 Easy Ways to Help your Child Stay Active
Knowing that your child needs to be active is the easy part. But, figuring out things for them to do to make sure they want to be active is the hard part. These are some ways to help narrow down the endless amount of activities or ideas to keep your child active.
This is an important one because exercise at the age of 25 and exercise at the age of 8 are different. We have goal driven motivation to get up and stay active, but children just want to have fun with whatever they are doing. That is the key factor. Implementing fun exercises for kids to do will make them want to do it. Whether it be a simple jumping exercise, balancing exercise, or relay races - you can make anything fun by simply adding in obstacles, mini competitions or anything that draws their attention to wanting to involve themselves and forget they are actually exercising.
2. Family Activities
Find an hour or two every week to plan something that you all do together. Seeing everyone involved sometimes can help motivate you kids to want to get up and get moving with you. These things could be simple activities such as:
- Bike rides
- Walks to the park
- Dance Parties
3. Physically Active Games
Every kid likes playing games. This also gives them the mental benefits because it allows for them to focus on a task and creativity comes out as they are wanting to compete and have fun whether it be self competition or a friendly competition with family. Also helps them develop motor skills as they prepare for sports later on.
- Playing catch
- Ninja Courses
- Hop scotch
4. Limit Technology Screen Time
When used the right way technology for a child can be a positive thing. However, a lot of kids may be overusing. This can play a part in taking away kids wanting to be active as they might only want to be on that favorite game or watch that favorite TV show. Being able to control how much they are watching could play a huge role in their early development.
- Limit their screen time everyday
- While eating try to avoid allowing them to be around technology
- Implement what they like watching into physical activities
5. Be a Role Model
Your kid is always watching you. Whether you know it or not, kids see things around them and soak it up like sponges. Allowing them to see you being active and having fun while doing so will motivate them to want to be involved in what you are doing. Consistency is the biggest thing. If they see you on your feet being active most days they will want to mirror that and join.
The benefits of your child being active early can carry on all through childhood and into adulthood. Whether it be sports or being able to stay mentally focused for a task they are doing. Key things to remember are to always try and keep it fun and be creative when looking for ideas so that they stay engaged and want more. Remembering that they are products of their environments and seeing you being active can relay over to them wanting to be active like mom or dad.
Stay happy, healthy, and active!
Youth Fitness Manager