Physical activity keeps your child healthy by reducing the risk of serious health conditions and maintaining weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least an hour of exercise each day for children. The physical activity doesn’t need to be 60 minutes of calisthenics. The key is finding a form of exercise that appeals to your child.
Safety during exercise helps prevent injuries. Warming up and cooling down helps your child’s muscles get ready for the exercise and recover afterward. This prevents muscle strains and sprains. Protective gear for certain activities, such as bike riding, baseball and other sports, keeps your child’s head and body safe. Setting ground rules also helps increase the safety of physical activity. For example, you might establish a rule of only riding bikes on your street.
Sneak in Physical Activity
Increasing the general activity level of your day is a sneaky way to get in some exercise. You might ride bikes with your child to run errands in the neighborhood, such as going to the post office. Playing together with an emphasis on moving helps you fit in more physical activity. Even chore time is an opportunity to get your child moving. Assign him tasks such as yard work or scrubbing the floors to maximize the physical activity. Take any opportunity you can to get moving with your kids.
Join a Team
Sports programs for kids offer an organized team environment. Many communities offer a variety of sports teams for kids from preschool age and up. The programs are often in need of volunteers as coaches. This gives you an opportunity to spend quality time with your child as her coach while encouraging physical fitness. Encourage your child to try a variety of sports to help her find an activity she enjoys.
Kids often complain of being bored. These moments give you a chance to suggest a form of entertainment that includes physical activity. Write a list of different active games or activities to keep on hand when boredom strikes. This might include tag, relay races, basketball or a backyard obstacle course. When your child complains of boredom, pull out the list to find an exercise-related activity to do together.