What works to make children more active?
We all almost assume that our children are active enough. But did you know they need at least an hour of moderate to vigorous activity? every day? This should include aerobic activities as well as age-appropriate muscle and bone strengthening activities like pushups, jumping rope, and running.
The good news is that it doesn't have to be all at once: 10 minutes here and 20 minutes there are just as effective at maintaining health as anything in a window of time.
Will mine be enough?
Think of your own week and that of your children. Add it up in your head. I'm very health conscious – it's my job – and yet I know that mine sometimes can't get enough in the winter months.
Summer is always more active, of course, but I understand that the one-hour quota is too important to limit it to just part of the year. it has to be more consistent.
Fortunately, they are naturally prone to exercise and enjoy active games during recess (like skipping and hunting), but I am also aware that children who become teenagers can fall off.
For example, I'm afraid of the statistics that half of girls drop out of sport before the age of 14. The half! These numbers are not so dramatically reflected in boys. I will do everything I can to keep my two girls active at this age especially knowing how important it is to mental health and confidence, but who knows how challenging that will be?
It's important to involve them in activities they love now so that they can hopefully stay. As parents, we just want them to be healthy and happy. Below are some ideas on how to get things moving.
10 ways to make kids more active
1. Go out: It is tempting to stay cuddled up all winter, but the reality is we have a long winter and if we just gave in, no one would be exercising. Wrap yourself in layers and remind your kids to warm up in as little as 5-10 minutes. A hike – packed with a healthy picnic – is ideal for the whole family. Pick a local hill or mountain or go further afield or go for a bit of adventure: for Dublin readers, try Outsider.ie or for a nationwide article with this great article on Independent.ie.
For those looking for something a little more leisurely, a walk after lunch or after dinner in your neighborhood, if done briskly, will be enough to get everyone's heart rate up. Then light a fire when you get home and you will feel all the glowing endorphins!
2. Create a fun racetrack.: If the rain prevents you from going outside, get a timer and encourage your kids to do a “Circuit Challenge” indoors. Have a sit-up station, a push-up station, and a jumping-jack station (you can add small weights for older teens too) – make sure you join them and spend two minutes on each station while Music into the station pumps background for extra fun!
If you have a kid who inherently doesn't like things like this, add a board game station or an arts station for distraction. For smaller children, make an obstacle course or jumping area with pillows and cushions.
3. Encourage them to become “buddies”.: Join them or organize a friend to take part in a dog walk, a visit to the park with a ball or a jump on the trampoline. Alternatively, try to take some time for an outing that includes physical activity with a buddy or group of friends, such as going to a party. B. ice skating, swimming or an indoor climbing wall.
A trip to the local indoor trampoline center may be enough if it's raining outside, but a trip to the shops can work too – march from shop to shop and you'll soon be complaining about tired legs!
4. Enroll them in a class or team: Don't give up trying! We tried dancing, hockey, rugby and tennis before playing GAA for our daughter – and now she loves it. She never complains about training twice a week and enjoys the games.
But one tip: don't pay to join or buy all of the gear until you are your child. Most organizations are good at this and will allow you to defer payment until the third week or so.
Also, don't think that all of your children are going to like the same thing. It may mean going in different directions, but try to tailor the sport to suit the child, not the other way around.
5. Dancing at home: Make music and just dance in your living room or kitchen while you prepare dinner. Most of us have tried, but are we doing it regularly enough? It's fun, it's active, and you burn calories too – what not to like? Give the kids the choice of their favorite music and dance off. Add glow sticks for extra fun and film yourself so you can play it back and laugh later.
6. Play with them: You can't beat skipping, hula hooping, or hopscotch for some fun outdoors. Mine also love tipping the can, and it can mean a ton of sprinting (the adrenaline pumps if we try to make it to the tree in time!).
Also, don't forget to visit rock pools or chase each other on the sand dunes on the beaches – you can't beat it, especially when there is warmth in the air. Where there is a lot of space – such as in forests, parks or on the beach – not only the children benefit from the feeling of freedom. It is good for the soul.
Free space is all you really need to be active – hunting, climbing and running.
Plus, it's free!
7. Customize the house for older children: Consider buying inexpensive fitness equipment (often available at budget supermarkets) and setting up a fitness area in the house. When combined with a speaker and his favorite tunes, this is all that is required – no expensive gym membership required.
Or try out apps for physical activity and get fit like Nike Training Club or Sworkit.
8. Take the time to visit your school's principal: We are fortunate to have yoga and bike safety as part of our children's school day (some grade groups also offer swimming). However, if you feel like you want more activity on your child's day, it may be worth talking to the school principal about it. They may have planned something you didn't know about, but if not, raise the problem with him / her.
9.Limit screen time: Children now spend more than 7.5 hours a day in front of a screen. Think about yourself when you were a kid and you got bored – you probably go outside. Unfortunately, this is not the time for our children to get bored. Hence, it becomes more and more difficult to turn them into activities. Reinstate the rules if they are gone.
Remember, we are in charge – being too loose with screens is sometimes due to our own laziness. And don't forget how important it is to be a role model for them. If you take her to a park or beach to be active, put the phone away! You need direct eye contact and focus. If you keep an eye on your phone all the time, they will feel it and it will reduce their own interest in being there.
10.Focus on the effort, not the result: Experts say parents often make mistakes when they become competitive in their children's activities. A lot of praise is crucial, especially for children who are not athletic or athletic by nature. But sometimes it doesn't help to shout from the sidelines. Some parents volunteer in a team to support their child. This is a great way to encourage them.
And no matter how uncoordinated or out of shape your child is, they need to hear that they are great, even when they accomplish a small goal, such as: B. Put your hand on the ball or cycle a little further on a certain day. If you don't have time to volunteer, feel free to take one of the other volunteers aside and ask them to give your child a few compliments – it might be just the thing to keep them at it.
For more motivation to exercise, check out my blog on Common Exercise Excuses and 8 Ways Exercise Can Boost Mood and Brain Performance.
To make children more active – as with all of our series of tips for better health and life – set yourself the goal of including one of the activities in your weekly routine. Then add another one and let it soak in. Before you know it, you will be reaching the recommended physical activity levels for your child (s).
Have fun moving!