Keep Kids Active: 5 Ways to Get Them Moving More | Modern Mummy

Monday, 24 June 2019

Keep Kids Active: 5 Ways to Get Them Moving More

We hear over and over from health professionals that we all need to be moving more- but it really is so beneficial for people of all ages. For children, an hour a day of moderate to vigorous activity will help them to burn off energy and give them the stimulation they need, and if you can get involved as much as possible then it will do wonders for your health too! But what exactly can you do to get kids up and moving more? Here are some ideas.

Limit screen time 
Too much time sat on screens such as phones, tablets, computers and tvs is one of the reasons that kids are less active than they used to be. It’s not to say you need to ban these things altogether since that’s not realistic, but just be sure to limit their usage. There’s nothing wrong with a family movie night or a rainy day sat indoors playing on the computer from time to time, but it shouldn’t replace exercise or socialising in real life. There are apps you can install which give you parental controls meaning you can disconnect the internet when needed, or you could resort to unplugging the wifi if you need to.

Make exercise fun 
Exercise for kids never has to feel like a chore. Since they’re so naturally energetic and curious when it comes to learning new things, there’s so much you can do to make it a genuinely enjoyable experience. Go to a trampolining park or hire a bouncy castle one weekend and let them burn off energy as they bounce. Have a water fight on a hot day and chase each other around with the hose. Go on family bike rides, or nature walks. You can print activity sheets from sites like Pinterest to grab their interest further. Everything can be a game when you’re young, so utilise this mindset and really have fun with it. Think about silly competitions like who can hop for the longest on one foot to who can score the most goals with the football at the park. Even who can pull the most weeds out in the garden (it helps you out too!) Get creative and see the world through a child’s eyes again.

Work exercise into your routine 
Kids are very adaptable, and if you make something part of their everyday routine then it becomes normal to them. Instead of driving to school or the shops, make it a tradition to walk- it’s a chance to chat to your child as you go. At the weekends, go on days out that involve a lot of walking and activity, and set time aside each day for fun play such as out in the garden or at the park. Make it so integrated to your routine that you’re all up and moving around without even thinking about it.

Try lots of new things 
There are so many different kinds of sports and activities that kids can get involved in. Many they will enjoy but some they won’t. While kids often need a bit of a push at times to stay committed to a hobby, know when they’re really not enjoying it and try something else instead. It can be tempting as a parent to sign them up to a new class with the hopes they’ll become a superstar in the skill but it’s not always meant to be. If they’re not enjoying martial arts, you could try a team sport like rugby or football. If they’re not a fan of gymnastics, maybe they’ll enjoy dance better? Giving them the opportunity to try out lots of different classes and skills helps them to understand what kinds of activities they like and want to stick with. As time goes on and they improve, they could get involved in tournaments, sports tours and more. But if it turns out that they’re really not enjoying one particular thing then forcing them isn’t the best option.

Be a role model 
Parents who are fit and active are much more likely to have fit and active children. Be a role model, let kids see you exercising and having fun it could be anything from a trampette in the garden to skipping, following exercise DVDs or going out running and biking. In time, they will want to follow the example you have set.

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