Being physically active is a challenge for children in this day and age of technology, as they spend most of their time online on sedentary activities.
Watching TV, playing computer games, using an iPad and surfing the Internet does not keep them physically healthy.
Moreover, sitting at their desk and studying for long periods of time is another reason for their lack of physical activity. As a parent, you must encourage your children to be active.
Why do children need to be active?
When your children are active, their bodies will be healthy and they will be able to carry out normal physical tasks easily.
Here are some benefits of keeping active:
- Strong muscles and bones
- Control and maintain weight
- Avoid risk of type two diabetes
- Enjoy better sleep
- Have a positive outlook
Engaging in physical activity is also likely to keep your child academically motivated. It builds self-esteem at every age.
Although children stand to gain from regular exercise, many of them lack the drive to leave the comfort of their house. Keep them motivated by:
- Choosing suitable activities for their age and character.
- Creating many opportunities for them to be active.
- Always making activities fun.
Activities can be classified into three main types:
Children who belong to this group need active play several times per day.
They should be trained in important motor skills like kicking, throwing a ball, playing tag, hopping on one foot, riding a tricycle or running an obstacle course.
Most pre-schoolers don’t understand complex rules, so keep their attention span, skills and coordination in playing any sport simple.
Instead of teaching them to play competitively, let them play freely to develop their fundamental skills.
Children from six to 12 years old belong to this group. They need an hour of active play and exercise every day.
Because they easily get bored with what they do, it’s a challenge for parents to find physical activities that they will enjoy and feel interested in doing.
Some activities you can choose for your children are baseball, basketball, martial arts and biking.
As with younger children, teens need an hour of exercise and play each day. Fortunately they have more choices from school sports to after- school activities.
Many active teens love activities like yoga or skateboarding. Remember that physical activities should be planned properly to achieve the best results.
It is important to create the most comfortable environment for your teen. You can provide transportation or the necessary apparel and equipment for them.
In some activities like biking, swimming or going to the gym, the proper clothes and shoes will help them feel confident and keep them motivated.
Whatever your child’s fitness personality, every child can be physically fit. Parents should maintain a positive attitude to help their children.
If you build this habit in them early, they will come to regard physical activity as a part of their everyday routine.
This article first appeared in Hello Doktor. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.