I am sure you will agree with the following…
The life of modern children has changed dramatically over the past 10-20 years. We had a more “active” childhood than the modern digital generation!
It is not a secret for anybody that children do not move much mostly. They prefer spending their time watching the TV or playing the video games. If children spend their time in the open air, they usually do it with their iPhone or iPad in their hands.
Here are some shocking facts and figures for you:
- Over the past 40 years, the number of obese children has increased 10 times.
- Their number has reached an incredible 124 million.
- It is almost 3.5 times larger than the population of Canada.
Obviously, there is a link between obesity and low levels of physical activity. If you wonder what you can do to stop the obesity epidemic, you need to start with your own family. If you do everything correctly, then not only your children, but also your grandchildren will be slim and healthy.
Physically Active Children Grow into Healthy Adults
To help develop healthy habits for the rest of your life, you need to make an active, healthy lifestyle attractive to them starting from the earliest possible age. This requires daily physical activity, without any fanaticism.
An active lifestyle will help them to:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Build bone structure and muscles
- Maintain and develop flexibility
- Improve mood and self-esteem
- Keep heart healthy
- Lower the risk of diseases
- Have a higher performance at school
- Love their body.
At a young age, exercises – the movements required for physical improvement – are not of high importance. To get started, simply choose physical activity – movements performed during the day.
The most important element of activity for children is fun!
How Can You Involve Your Child into Physical Activity?
Although preaching physical activity to children is important, parents are the ones, who should make this ball rolling. Here is what parents should do first:
• Lead a healthy lifestyle.
• Show this behavior to your children.
• Praise and cheer up the child’s sports-oriented efforts.
We are an example for our children. After all, they can do the same thing that we do, without even thinking about it. By the way, if you have bad habits, think about what kind of an example you are for your children.
It is not essential that you visit the gym together with your child, let alone go in for professional sports. Any activity during the day, and not just structured classes, will make a part of a healthy lifestyle.
Here is a list of activities, which are both useful and fun:
- Dancing to favorite music
- Roller skating or skateboarding
- Swimming and pool games
- Walking the dog
- Playing Frisbee.
If children are bored, you will fail. One sure way to make these activities fun is to engage the entire family into process. Kids love to spend time and play games with their parents!
Work together to be active every day! Perhaps, you will also find it useful for your own health and body, because most adults also lead rather a lazy lifestyle. Let the children do sports or active hobbies, even if you don’t really like them.
Limiting “screen time” (playstation, iPhone, iPad, TV) is truly important. Screen time increases the likelihood that a child becomes obese. This is caused not only by the lack of activity. While staring at the screen, children often snack on junk food. In addition, they see hundreds of junk food advertisements.
Despite the child’s rebellious behavior, your task is to distract children from gadgets, not to mention getting them out, playing, and moving actively.
We must not allow our children to grow unhealthy! At that, we shouldn’t forget that a total ban on digital devices can backfire!
How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?
Only every third child is physically active every day, and this is wrong. Children should be active every day, at least:
- 1 hour – children aged 5 years and older.
- 3 hours – children aged 1 to 5 years.
Yes, kids should move a lot. It stimulates their physical and mental development.
You should not miss this time. By encouraging play in toddlers, you can provide a lifelong love of physical activity.
Be creative, invent new games. Make them love bathing. Enjoyable experiences in the tub create not only good mood, but also a positive outlook on water activities later on.
Be positive and believe in the power of change!
Be aware that physical activity at a young age is the basis of a good physical condition. Your children need to understand why this is important.
If you follow our recommendations properly, your children are sure to enjoy exercise. Work together to form healthy habits in your family.