How To Keep Your Child Active
Keeping your child active throughout their formative years is essential to ensuring that they grow up to be healthy and strong. There are many methods that you can use to encourage your child to be as active as possible. It’s recommended that you try several of the following, as what’s beneficial for one child might not be for another.
Sign Your Child Up For a Martial Arts Class
Martial arts is one of the premier types of physical activity for a child, as it provides a wide range of benefits. Martial arts classes will keep your child healthy and fit, while also providing them with the tools necessary to develop useful skills that will help them later in life. Classes of this nature have the added advantage of being very fun to participate in, so your child should require very little convincing to consider attending martial arts classes.
Not only does practicing martial arts keep your child active, it also boosts their strength, balance, coordination and speed. These classes have been known to assist children in the development of positive character traits, while also helping them learn problem solving skills. A healthy self-esteem is also essential to a child’s development, which martial arts classes can provide. These classes can be even more fun for your child if they attend with a friend.
Act As a Role Model
One of the most important aspects of getting your kid to actually be interested in staying active is to be active yourself as well. Being a role model to your child in this regard has proven to work wonders in pushing them to start enjoying these activities. Consider planning an active family outing that everyone in the family can enjoy together.
Limit TV and Computer Time
Getting your children to spend their free time wisely is oftentimes a tricky thing to do. In order to promote a more active lifestyle, consider placing a limit on the amount of time your child can spend on the TV and computer during the day. It’s recommended that total screen time across all electronic devices is limited to around 1-2 hours each day. Encourage your child to spend their free time doing some sort of physical activity.
Choose a Physical Activity Depending on Age
Not all types of physical activity are suitable for younger children. For instance, the types of activities that a five year old might find interesting and fun can differ greatly from what a 13 year old enjoys. There are also certain activities that are suitable for all ages, such as riding bicycles and swimming. As your child grows older, start to suggest additional types of physical activities that will expand their interests and keep them active. These activities can include martial arts, hiking, school sports or even yoga.
Make Sure Physical Activity Is Fun Instead of Overdone
Many adults that attempt to stay active are put off of it by working out too strenuously at the very beginning. This issue is particularly difficult to navigate when it comes to children, as the best way to ensure that a child stays active is for the physical activities they participate in to be fun, instead of feeling like work. Tell your child that they need to pay attention to what their body is telling them. When they start to feel some slight pain or frustration when working out, they need to understand that this is the exact time when they need to quit and move on to less demanding activities.
Overdoing a physical activity is not only painful, but can be a huge detriment to actually enjoying the physical activity. In order to make sure that your child isn’t overdoing it, pay attention to their weight. If it drops too much, this may be a sign that they’re working out too strenuously. You also don’t want the physical activities they do to interfere with their workout. To avoid this, try to make a scheduled time for your child to complete these physical activities. This schedule will act as a reminder to them as well.
Suggesting a Variety of Activities Will Keep Your Child Interested
The key towards keeping your child active is for that child to find an activity, or multiple activities, that they will be interested in. While you might find baseball fun, your child might not and could quickly grow bored of it. You want them to develop their interests on their own, so simply encourage your child by providing them with a list of suggestions. There are a many physical activities that can be enjoyed by both boys and girls. Soccer, basketball, gymnastics, hide-and-seek and jumping rope are just some of the many activities that you should recommend. Even when a child enjoys something at one time, this doesn’t mean that they will continue to enjoy that activity months down the road.
This is another reason as to why it’s so important that they try out several different physical activities. It’s also important to understand that children need three basic types of exercise, including aerobic, bone-strengthening and muscle-strengthening exercises. For aerobic exercises, running, biking and swimming are some of the most popular among children. Muscle-strengthening exercises include everything from climbing to sit-ups and push-ups, though children might find gymnastics more fun. As for bone-strengthening exercises, suggest activities like jumping rope and tennis to your child.
Provide the Toys and Equipment Necessary For Physical Activities
It’s important that your child has all of the toys and equipment necessary for the physical activities that they enjoy. For instance, if your child is interested in play soccer with a school team, make sure that they have all of the padding, shoes and equipment that’s necessary for such an activity. If not, they will quickly grow bored and won’t see the point in continuing. Keeping active toys around the home, such as a jumping rope and light weights, will encourage physical activity.