Engaging in regular physical activity completes the equation in fighting obesity and overweight. Ideally, children should be engaged to a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity each day. Getting active should be a good mixture of outdoor and indoor activities and parents play an important role in encouraging kids in being physically active.
Outdoor Play And Participation
One type of activity that kids can partake in is outdoor activities. There are many outdoor games that children may find fun and interesting more than their usual share of video games. Some classic games to try out include Hide and Seek, Hokey Pokey, Follow the Leader, and Tag. Majority of kids are active learners. They will eventually find the enthusiasm to play these games because it can ignite their curiosity and competitiveness. Four Square and Hopscotch, for instance, not only drives children to be physically active and fit, but these games also teach them how to count and work with numbers. Outdoor play can be both educational and recreational.
Invest in A Playground
According to ChurchMag, the right equipment and playground design play an important role in physical strength and balance. It also offers your child to grow and develop essential skills such as imagination and creativity, social skills, problem solving and thinking skills, and sense of self.
Parents can invest on creating a playground on their outside space. Dig in the soil and build under the shadows. The play area does not have to be as big like in schools and malls. Parents can keep it simple with the right components. The simplest things like a sandbox or a garden can do the trick. The important thing is to offer kids a place where they will be inspired and encouraged to be more physically participative. Children will not learn properly unless given the right avenue.
Technology is always often blamed for children’s lack of exercise but when you think of it, parents also play a vital role in controlling kids’ technology use. Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple, was known to be a low-tech parent. He strictly limited his children’s screen time and the kids haven’t had the chance to experience using an iPad when it first hit the shelves. With proper control over technology, parents can peacefully create a healthy lifestyle for their kids.
Technology can be used in a great way to get the family to go outdoors. Kids can enjoy hiking much more when it is paired with technology. Joining geocaching clubs can give kids the thrill of discovery and delight of finding things in different places. Geocaching uses the mobile device’s GPS to find caches. A cache is typically a small waterproof container that consists of small toys. What’s more fun about it is that kids can not only find the pleasure of hunting caches but can also have fun in hiding them.
The best way to encourage most people to take on physical activities is to challenge them. The same can be applied to children. According to NHS, parents can try to do activity challenges with their kids to bring up a healthier life orientation. For instance, the entire family can attend a fun run regularly or do charity walks. It does not have to be a full on marathon or competition – just all in the name of good fun. Doing things for a cause can also be inspiring for the kids in the long run.
Get in Touch with Nature
Plant new ideas on your child’s mind by introducing them to gardening. You can start by making a theme for his first garden. For example, all the seeds can include the makings of a pizza or could be as simple as a flowerbed that consists plants in his favorite color.
Start by giving kids a packet of seeds, gardening tools, and a spot in the garden. Let them plant as they please and make them feel comfortable about the responsibility of taking care of plant. Once the seed has successfully grown, let him show-off his masterpiece by making a healthy pizza or by displaying the flowers in a vase where everyone can see.
Organize an Outdoor Play Time
Create a weekly football match and let the whole family and friends join in the fun. Engaging in a 2-3 hours of pickup games such as football, baseball, or soccer can give kids a good workout. You can also team up with co-moms and make other kids join in a friendly match of kid’s football.
Support Children to Join Clubs
Parents can also encourage their children to join sports or activity clubs to help develop their interest in maintaining an active lifestyle. A club can develop regular interest and discipline. There are many types of groups at school where kids can participate in including swimming, tennis, soccer, and dance, among others. Kids also get to learn proper exercise and team commitment.
Devote Time to Family Playing
Aside from challenging your kids to get active, you should also devote time to interact with your children and engage in activities together. According to American Academy of Pediatrics’ chairman Reginald Washington: “Kids really mimic what their parents do—and that includes physical activity.” Adults should act like role models to kids for them to adopt the mindset and practice the skills. “Engage children in activities with you, such as taking walks or riding bikes together,” the doctor added. The time and effort that parents exert affect the mindset and tendencies of their kids.
About the Author:
Aby League is a qualitative researcher and a passionate writer. She is an innovator and technology enthusiast. She has been writing about health, psychology, home improvement and technology. To know her more, follow @abyleague on Twitter.
Disclaimer: This blog post does not reflect the views of the OAC, the National Board of Directors or staff. Information contained in this blog post is not based on scientific research and has not been validated. The OAC does not endorse or support any merchandise, program or hyperlink mentioned in this blog post.