With technology becoming ever-more enticing, it can be more work than parents can handle getting their kids up and moving. But being physically active is not just a good idea for health nuts, it’s a vital health requirement for kids. The statistics are startling (from the CDC):
- Only 1 out of every 3 kids is physically active throughout their day.
- 1 in 7 preschoolers are overweight.
- Kids spend an average of 7 hours daily on computers or watching TV.
- 70% of obese kids and teens have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
According to health professionals, children need a solid hour of physical activity a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As parents, it’s our job to make that happen. Fortunately, getting kids active can be easier than you thought (and you might even end up having fun with them too!) with the right tools.
Kids will benefit from physical activity in so many ways:
- Exercise builds muscles and strengthens bones.
- It also develops the brain, developing stronger logic, reasoning, problem solving, and thinking skills.
- Being active helps kids maintain a healthier lifestyle and control their weight.
- Activity decreases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Active children are more coordinated, flexible, and capable.
- They’ll sleep more soundly.
- More positive outlook on life in general.
Easier Than You Think
Obviously, the activities that will interest and be fitting for your child depends on their age, but from toddlers to teens, there are plenty of ways you can encourage them to get up and go. Make it age-appropriate, make it fun, and your kids will remain active for hours!
Chuck the Xbox, and try some of these fun activities with your kids to get everyone happier and healthier fast.
#1 Wheel & Deal
Kids love playing with anything on wheels. There’s that exhilarating rush when the wind rushes by you as you maneuver hills, sidewalks, and obstacles. Teach your child to ride a bike, or to rollerblade or skateboard, and you’ll also be promoting balance, hand-eye coordination, and multiple brain sector functioning.
#2 Invite a Friend
Fun is always better when shared, so invite some friends over to be active together. Kids can play tag, hide and seek, or imaginative games that keep them moving all day long.
#3 Dance, Dance, Dance!
Dancing is a wonderful way to get kids moving their bodies (and they’ll never know it’s exercise!). Turn up some fun music, gather the kids together, and dance like there’s nobody watching! Extra tip: If you join in the fun, your kids will delight in this jovial, light-hearted, and memorable opportunity.
#4 Join a League
Little league is one of the fondest memories for many adults, and it provides ample opportunity for your little ones to be active, learn skills, and develop healthy bodies and minds.
#5 Play with Man’s Best Friend
If you have a dog, this is a great excuse to get those lethargic teens up and moving. Build responsibility and muscle by taking Fido for a brisk walk, bringing him to a dog park to run around or catch a frisbee, or rough housing in the back yard.
#6 Walk it Out
Of course, even if you don’t have a dog, taking a walk is a great exercise routine that’s easy and can be fun as well. If your kids are unenthusiastic about walking around the block, make a game out of it. Print out lists of items they need to spot during their walk, start a collection of things that you can find while walking (acorns, bus tickets, leaves), or plan a scavenger hunt to get kids excited about their daily trek.
#7 Buy Some Awesome Backyard Playground Equipment
Swing sets are any parent’s gift to themselves! That’s because they provide your kids with endless opportunities for having fun. Children revel in jungle gyms; they can run, jump, swing, climb, and maneuver in countless ways, keeping them active and busy the entire day.
#8 Have Some Indoor Fun, Too!
Just because you can’t get outside sometimes doesn’t mean you can’t keep your kids active. Play games that promote movement to stimulate that adrenaline and pump up the fun, such as the following:
- Active reading: Choose a common word in a story and have kids run to the other side of the room every time that word is read.
- Play charades using lively animals, characters, and concepts.
- Create an obstacle course around the living room to challenge kids’ coordination, speed, and maneuvering.
- Yoga! Kids will enjoy learning these moves and exploring new ways to move their bodies in a unique way.
Use these fun and easy ideas to get your kids moving today!
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