Young children are usually naturally active. They engage in physical play to explore the world, and they get a lot of exercise doing so. In fact, adults often get frustrated with how active young children are. As children age, however, it can be hard for them to get enough activity. This may be due to increasing academic demands, a lack of free time, or too much time spent in front of screens. In this article, we’re going to give you five tips for raising healthy and active children.
Choose Activities Right for Your Child
One facet of this is choosing activities that are right for your child’s age. If you want to know why choosing the right type of activities for your child is important, view this page here. Not only will some type of play be more appropriate for them at certain ages, it will also help support their development. If you aren’t sure what activities are suitable for your child, we strongly suggest you talk to your pediatrician or a child therapist.
Prioritize Play Time
Don’t assume your kids will get enough exercise in their 30 minute break between academics and other activities. Make sure that you prioritize playtime at all hours of the day. Give them the chance to choose an activity they would like to immerse themselves into, like sport or dancing, for instance. If they happen to lose interest in an activity, drop it in favor of something else, because the goal is to keep it fun.
Regular physical activity has many benefits, and it shouldn’t stop once soccer season is over. If they’re not enrolled in some organized activity, let your children play for half an hour to an hour after they get home from school. The side benefit is that they’ll be better able to focus on their homework afterwards.
Make It a Family Activity
Find fun family activities you can do together. This will give you the chance to set an example for your child while ensuring they get enough exercise. This could include family walks and bike rides or playing in the swimming pool together. Or you could work out while young children play with hula hoops and balls.
Teach Them How to Stay Safe
Teach your children how to listen to their body so they know when they’re overdoing it. Model healthy behaviors like staying hydrated or tending to injuries immediately. Discuss how to keep safe, such as never running into the road to chase after a ball or obeying the rules of the road when riding a bike in the street.
Remove the Distractions
A lot of kids come home from school and plop down in front of the TV or computer screen. They only pull away from it when told to do their homework or come to dinner. If you don’t limit screen time, they may only sit there and watch or read content. The solution is to limit their screen time to no more than one or 2 hours a day. This includes video games, television and computers.
Exercise is as important as a balanced diet for living a healthy life. This is why encouraging an active lifestyle for your children is one of the best things you can do for them.