Do you know how much exercise children should be getting on a weekly basis? Children should be getting a minimum of 60 minutes of medium intensity to vigorous physical activity a day to maintain their health, encourage regular growth and just to feel happy! Summer is a great time to get your kids to put away their video games and get moving!
Toddlers and Young Children
It's a lot easier than you think to get to your younger kids moving. At this age, kids are naturally inclined to move about, run, skip and jump. Rather than discourage hyper behaviour, channel it effectively into PLAY TIME.
* Bring your kids out to local playgrounds and encourage them to run, climb, and play both with the games and with other kids. If they are
hesitant to start, help them along until they feel comfortable. Perhaps start with a game of tag to get them in the mood! Or even playing ball is
a great way to go.
* Why not walk over to the park, rather than take the stroller? It may take a little more time, but it will get your child used to moving.
* If it's a rainy day, then move the moving indoors! Put on some music and dance around with your kids. Play Musical Chairs, Freeze, Cold or Hot,
or Simon Says having them dance, jump, skip, and just move around.
* Encourage them to come up with their own active game. Let them use their imagination and come up with some simple rules to play!
* Sign them up for a community centre ctivities, like soccer or dancing. Even if they are not very good at it, they will enjoy moving around with
Older Children & Teens
It seems that as children age, they stop moving as much. This may be due to social pressure and changing bodies, but you can reverse this trend. Just be sure that you encourage activities that they like, rather than ones you would like them to like.
* Encourage your kids to walk to and back from activities. Explain that the car will only be
used for activities that are further than a 20 minute walk.
* Organize a family walk and an evening bike ride. This will have the double added value of
exercise and family time.
* Sign them up for community activities like their younger siblings. Community Centres offer
a variety of free or low-cost activities, for kids of all ages.
* Join a sports acitivity together, like yoga or tennis.
* Reserve certain times of the week for physical activity that varies every week. For
example, reserve Sunday afternoon for activity time. One week, go hiking, the next week,
try a family game of soccer, etc.
* Encourage kids to take up skateboarding or rollerblading, or even enroll them in
wall-climbing or obstacles classes. Though you may be worried, kids are more likely to move
if they like what they are doing or if the sport is popular. Just be sure to buy them the
correct protective gear and sign them up for classes when possible.
Kids and teens may resist at first, but will soon become accustomed to more a active lifestyle and will appreciate the many benefits like maintaining a healthy weight, better coordination, and better concentration.
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