Five Simple Ways to Help Your Kids Enjoy Exercise

There is a plentiful amount of research indicating that kids who develop healthy habits towards exercise at an early age, will be more likely to enjoy fitness throughout their lifetime. As such, promoting an encouraging environment towards exercise during the early years of childhood is essential for Aussie families.

How often should my kids exercise?

Although some kids have endless energy to burn, others require extra inspiration to get up and moving. With the continuous development of technology and the growing popularity of online games such as Fortnite, managing your child’s screen time and sedentary levels is increasingly important. Recommended activity levels for children depend on their age, with health guidelines suggesting the following:

Infants Encouraged to be active intermittently, through crawling, reaching, pushing and pulling.
Toddlers Toddlers who can walk unassisted should be physically active for at least 3 hours per day.
Aged 5-18 Encouraged to enjoy at least 1 hour of physical activity (ranging from moderate to vigorous exercise.)

 

Why is exercise important for kids?

It’s well-known that all humans require exercise to stay healthy and happy. This is true for both adults and kids of all ages! Moving your body through physical activity provides distinct health benefits for little bodies and minds, such as:

  • Developing and improving cardiovascular fitness,
  • Building muscle and bone strength,
  • Regulating and reducing body fat,
  • Balancing moods,
  • Increasing concentration,
  • Fostering happiness and mental wellbeing,
  • Sustaining energy levels,
  • Improving personal confidence.

Integrating exercise into playtime

An easy way to encourage your kids to exercise from an early age is to build movement and outdoor activities into their regular playtime! Disguising and integrating exercise into your child’s daily routine will form lifelong healthy habits. Here are five simple ways that you can encourage your kids to get up and keep moving:

 

  • Enjoy the outdoors

 

Although this may require a small investment, providing your kids with a choice of versatile outdoor equipment can promote a fun and healthy form of play. Popular and adaptable outdoor equipment pieces include:  

  • Backyard trampoline – Trampolining helps to build your child’s cardiovascular fitness, while also developing motor skills, balance, and coordination.
  • Kids Swing Set – Promotes movement, spatial awareness, and perceptual skills.
  • Basketball Hoop – Shooting hoops is an easy and fun way for kids to build hand-eye coordination and strengthen their muscles.

For those of us who don’t have a large backyard, many local parks and recreation centers offer a variety of equipment that can be enjoyed by your kids and provide a family day out.

 

  • Dance to the music

 

Any parent will know that children love to dance to their favorite songs! Moving and grooving is a great way for children of all age (from toddlers right through to adolescents,) to exercise and reduce stress. Even babies love to clap along with the beat!

Dancing offers a range of physical health benefits, including an all-over cardiovascular workout that builds endurance and muscle tone. In addition to the exercise benefits, dancing offers children a form of creative self-expression. Dancing can be a fantastic rainy-day activity for the whole family!

 

  • Get your hands dirty

 

Gardening can offer a relaxed way to provide holistic exercise for children, whilst building discipline through designated tasks. Getting into the garden also provides an effective way for families to share the wonder of nature together!

Allow your children rake fallen leaves, dig holes, plant trees, and spread fresh soil. Letting children choose colored flower bulbs and scented herbs, or a range of different plants also helps to develop their sensory awareness – including taste, touch, and smell.

 

  • Kick it old-school

 

There are plenty of retro-inspired activities and games that will make your kids laugh, while also providing an outlet for exercise. Games such as hopscotch, tag, hula hooping and jump rope are fun ways to get your kids moving. Retro games can also involve parents and grandparents – as these activities are well-loved family classics!

 

  • Splish, splash, splosh

 

Lastly, there is nothing better than playing with water on a hot day. The good news is that you don’t need to have a pool encourage this form of outdoor exercise! The beach, community swimming centers, and even backyard sprinklers are easy and affordable ways to get your kids in the water. Of particular note, swimming is can be a fantastic low-impact form of exercise that can build lung capacity, muscle tone, and overall fitness levels.

No matter which form of outdoor exercise your kids enjoy, it is important to remember to slip, slop and slap!

For more information about the importance of regular exercise, check out: https://health.gov/paguidelines/

Five Simple Ways to Help Your Kids Enjoy Exercise #kids #health #fitness

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