Anyone who is a parent can attest that many children are full of energy and love to spend hours after hours running, dancing, jumping, crawling, and spinning. Regular physical activity is essential for child development as it helps to control weight, encourages the growth of solid bones/muscles, reduces the risk of severe health conditions, and promotes a lifetime of being active.
Yet, in our digitally motivated world, very few children get the recommended amount of daily physical activity they require. This worsens as they move up through the school system and start using computers, mobile phones, and television. Fortunately, there are many ways that parents can encourage their children to be physically active, helping them to lead a healthy lifestyle overall.
Children require at least sixty minutes of daily physical activity like running, jumping, skipping, and dancing to lead a healthy and happy life. Below we list several ways parents can coax their children off the couch and encourage them to be physically active so that they start moving more and sitting less.
Set An Example For Your Child
Unbeknown to many parents, your behavior is one of the most potent tools for influencing your children. Much like a parrot, children love to imitate the adults in their lives and are very susceptible to everything the adult figures in their lives feel and do, whether positive or negative.
Due to this, it is essential to set an example for your child so that the appropriate behaviors you exhibit are being imitated, not the bad. For instance, you can’t expect your offspring to remove their shoes before entering the house if you never do it yourself - the same applies to physical activity.
If your children see you actively participating in and enjoying physical activity, the more likely, they’ll want to join in themselves. Plus, the more often they see this kind of behavior being exhibited, the more likely they’ll exude this behavior throughout the rest of their lives.
Use Exercise As Transportation
Another way that parents can encourage their kids to be physically active is by using exercise as a method of transportation. All too often, we rely on our cars to help us run errands even if we’re not going any considerable distance, which can cause our children to become reliant on transportation and resentful of the times when they cannot use it.
To avoid children adopting this mindset, ensure that you find creative ways to use exercise as a transportation method. For instance, if you don’t have any other commitments, you could walk your children to and from school daily. Or buy them a bike to get around the neighborhood and visit friends, so they don’t have to rely on you for a lift.
If your child doesn’t already own a bike, you might be wondering how to choose a bike for a kid? Mainly if they’ve grown out of their previous one, bikes that aren’t suited to your child’s size and ability can make riding highly unpleasant and even lead to injury in worst-case scenarios.
Avoid this by using online resources or visiting your local bike store to gauge what bike would be best for your child and get face-to-face assistance with the task. Alternatively, you could determine how to choose a bike for a kid by taking advantage of online resources such as the ones that the team over at Velosurance produces.
Primarily a national bike insurance company, Velosurance’s website is the place to look for expert-level knowledge about all things bicycles. From general tips about riding to bike upkeep, their team produces a range of content for parents and cycling enthusiasts to use over on their blog, as well as providing an insurance policy that covers just about anything that can happen to a bike. Consider visiting their website for more information or contact them directly for specific queries.
Limit The Use Of Electronics
While the use of electronics is beneficial for entertaining our children during those times when we want a moments piece and can help them to learn, too much usage may lead to problems. In the United States alone, children aged between eight to twelve spend an average of four to six hours a day glued to an electronic screen worsening as they reach teenage years.
Avoid this by placing a daily limit on the use of electronics and offering active options in their place. You could convince them to get involved in more physical activity by joining an after-school club or asking them if they’d like to enroll in any of the local leisure center's activities.
You could also implement rules about when you watch T.V together, like getting up off the couch during ad breaks and doing the washing up, running around the sitting room with a vacuum, or using exercise equipment such as jump ropes and weighted hula hoops, while watching a program.