A lot of parents want to make sure that their children are not only active kids, but that one day they will be active adults too. After all, their physical health is just as important as their mental health, and not only that, but the two are very closely linked.
There is so much evidence these days about the positive impact that physical exercise can have on mental health – why wouldn’t we encourage our children to be active?
Luckily, there are many different ways that parents can help their children make the right choices while under their guidance. From organised sports to family outings, there are many ways that you can encourage your child to get up and move. Whatever you and your family choose to do, there are several ways that you can make fitness a part of your child’s day.
The first thing that parents can do is get up and move themselves. After all, many children emulate what their parents do. Plus, this forces parents to practice what they preach. If you want to have an active child, it would be best if you participate in activities that promote physical wellness or exercise routines yourself.
Even as a first time mum you can start as early as when your children are still babies. There are many jogging strollers on the market that help mums on the move. Whether it’s a light walk around the neighbourhood with the family or a more intense jog, there are many strollers that suit many mums and their individual needs with plenty of room for their bags and belongings and easy to hold handlebars.
By the time your children reach a certain age, you can also encourage them to participate in organised sports and clubs. You can also choose a fun physical activity that is developmentally appropriate for your child.
Many health professionals are urging parents to praise, reward and encourage children with a little inspiration and the right equipment they might need, whether it’s a new bicycle, a trampoline or a pair of roller blades. Just remember to always be safe and cautious and to wear the appropriate head and body protective gear at all times.
If your child isn’t interested in joining a sports team or participating in individual athletics like swimming or gymnastics, you can also encourage them to help with household jobs. By helping you put away the dishes, the laundry or simply cleaning up their room, this will get children to move around, and without thinking about it, too.
Last but not least, turn off the television or put away the electronic tablets. More and more children are becoming addicted to their screen time and are spending more time indoors as a result.
The family that is active together, is happier together. Try to schedule at least one outing a week to the park or try to gather the entire family for an impromptu game outside – tag, hide and seek, whatever it is.
The more your children see you move, the more of a chance that they will continue to do the same for the rest of their lives.