With our lives becoming busier and more technologically advanced, everything is available a click away. Kids these days love playing games, given they don’t have to make a move. This attitude is responsible for the growing obesity rate and other related health issues globally.
Since kids are busy with their school routine, a lot of stuff you read off the internet might be impractical for your kids to work on, in order to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The following text give a holistic and workable guideline to get your kids moving, for a healthy today and a healthier tomorrow.
In order to get your kids to be physically active, it is equally important for you to be a great role model in terms of physical activity. Kids learn what they see. The increasing trend of thrusting smartphones in kids; hands is derived from their adults doing the same.
Therefore, it’s important that while you encourage physical activity, you accompany your kids during it. This can be done in several ways.
You can introduce a family exercise time where everyone of you does a certain exercise, i.e. aerobics, skipping, jogging or basic push ups. By turning it into a game, you can make it more fun, since kids love competitions.
You can also go for a bike ride every weekend if you have a busy routine. This way you can monitor their progress and stay in good shape too.
2. Get them a Fitness Tracker like Fitbit
This may seem like a pricey option and while some parents may beg to differ, considering the kids would still be using a gadget, a fitness tracker like Fitbit is something more than digital media exposure.
Since kids love electronics, getting them one that encourage physical activity is not that bad of an idea after all.
It lets kids set goals, monitors sleep activity, tells them to go for a run or take a number of steps, or climb a specific number of floors to achieve their daily target, complying to the competitive nature kids have.
By rewarding them for making movements, it encourages them to adopt a healthy lifestyle, easing your task.
3. Limit Screen time
Children these days are exposed to way more screen time than is medically recommended for them. On an average, 4-6 hours are spent watching TV, with an additional computer screen time. This is anything but healthy for your kid’s growth.
It inhibits growth of cognitive and mental abilities whilst also deteriorating eyesight. Since there’s a bright chance of your kids already being addicted to iPads and smartphones, taking it away all of a sudden would only encourage them to come up with suspicious ways to get their hands on them.
So, it is important that you adopt a stepwise approach, limiting their screen time gradually. Allow your kids aged 2-5 only one hour of screen time a day.
Not only is it bad for their health, but it also adversely affects their social interaction skills. Therefore a healthy social life is as important for your kids as it gets.
4. Ensure they are a Sports Team Member
Encouraging your kid to join a sports club or team of their choice is good for three reasons:
- It keeps them physically fit
- It encourages healthy social behavior
- It makes them good at a certain game at a young age.
Let your kids select a sports they like, and you can arrange a club or team play for them to join. This will keep them away from digital media and allow healthy mental and physical growth.
Kids take pride in being good at something from such an early age, so why not make that a sport? Who knows what talent your child possesses.
5. Get Them Toys that Encourage Physical Activity
Since you would be investing a good amount in purchasing toys for your kids annually, you might as well select them wisely.
Getting games like trampoline, twister, rackets for tennis/badminton, foam pogo jumpers and bicycles etc will get them off the computer and stop them from becoming couch potatoes. Try and search for toys that can be placed outdoor to stir up healthy activity.
Every child differs from the other in interest, likes and dislikes. While you may know what they like best, it is your duty to craft out a healthy routine for them to work on, which they may dislike initially, but will thank you for its benefits later. Make the most of summer and spring season by making the holidays all about outdoors from now onwards.
Ibrahim is an IT consultant working from home. Besides consultancy, he blogs about kids health and fitness issues and encourages parents to increase physical activities of their kids. He is a proud dad of one beautiful boy. You can check his blog at http://kidsactivitytracker.com/