Did you know that fewer than 25% of children get the recommended one hour of physical activity in a day?
As children grow older and progress through school, their participation in physical activity tends to decrease significantly. Maintaining an active lifestyle should be a priority for families.
Here are some tips to help you support your children in staying active and healthy.
Top Tips To Get Started
As a parent, there are several ways you can encourage your child to engage in more physical activity:
- Consult with your child’s healthcare provider to understand the benefits of exercise and determine the best activities for your child.
- Make sure your child is having fun while exercising – if they enjoy a particular sport or activity, they will be more likely to continue participating.
- Consider your child’s age and development when selecting activities – for example, younger children may not be ready for long-distance runs or weight lifting, but soccer, cycling, and swimming can be suitable options.
- Plan to ensure your child has a convenient time and place to exercise.
- Create a safe environment for your child to engage in physical activity – this includes ensuring their equipment is in good condition, and their clothing is appropriate for the activity.
- Provide active toys and encourage your child to use them.
- Lead by example – if your child sees you participating in sports and other physical activities, they will be more likely to do the same
- Play with your child and engage in physical activities together.
- Set limits on screen time and use the extra time for exercise.
- Make sure your child has sufficient time for exercise among their other commitments.
- Remember that exercise should not be painful – if your child experiences discomfort, have them slow down or try a less intense activity. Avoid overdoing it as it can interfere with other activities such as school. If you have concerns, discuss them with your child’s healthcare provider.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires a combination of regular exercise and a balanced diet. As a parent, you can play a key role in fostering healthy habits in your children from a young age.
Even if you haven’t already started, it’s never too late to encourage healthy living. Consider speaking with your child’s healthcare provider to learn more about resources and strategies for promoting wellness in your family.