The CDC recommends that children and adolescents spend up to 60 minutes a day undertaking aerobic physical activity. Reports have shown however that children often fall short of this goal. According to the American Heart Association, the obesity rate among children and teens has risen dramatically over the past twenty years.
Among children ages 6-11, about 15 percent of children are overweight. Among children and adolescents between the ages of 12-19 on the other hand, 16.1 percent are overweight. Children are naturally more active than adults. However, as they approach adolescence, children become increasingly less active. Now more than ever with the advent of video games and computers, children are becoming less attracted to the draws of physical activity in the outside world. If you’re looking to get your child more physically active throughout the week, try some of these tips from Sarah Henry of WebMD.
Enroll them in Sports
An obvious choice to getting your child more active is enrolling them in a sports program. Sports like basketball, hockey, and soccer are great ways for children to engage in physical activity while also socializing with other children. Teamwork and collaboration are important aspects to any character building process, therefore making team sports a great way of promoting proper physical and mental health.
Have them Perform Other Activities
If for whatever reason your child is not adapting well to team sports, or simply dreads the sport you put them into, get creative. Conventional sports may simply not interest your child, so it’s important that you try something different. Martial Arts, swimming, and wrestling are some great activities that stray away from the traditional organizational fabric of conventional sports. Other activities like dancing, rock climbing, and biking can be especially good ways of promoting physical activity.
Make Exercise Part of their Routine
By making exercise and physical activity as important as going to school, working, eating, and sleeping, it will be difficult for a child to ignore the importance of exercise. Instilling in them that sense of routine makes it much easier for children to pursue regular physical activity, even once they’ve strayed from the nest. Yet for this to work, it is vital that you:
Children love playing with their parents. Playing with your children has lasting social and emotional benefits. Encourage your child’s physical and mental wellbeing by actively engaging with them in physical activity. Whether this means taking your family on a hiking trip, or simply playing catch with them in the backyard, parents can act as catalysts to their own children’s physical activity. This is vital to the development of children.
Don’t Forget to make it Fun!
For young ones with developing attention spans, fun is priority number one. Make sure that you don’t turn a physical activity into a chore. Therefore, don’t be forceful, and make sure they (and you) are having fun.
If you like this post and would like to read more on youth physical and academic education, check out my twitter @TerryFebrey for more. Thanks for reading!