Six ways to get kids more active
Most youngsters don’t meet physical activity guidelines, and our children are now at higher risk for heart disease and obesity than ever before. All children need to spend time being physically active every day, and sports and games are a great way to achieve this. However, small bursts of activity count too. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate short bursts of physical activity into the day.
1. Get them to help with daily tasks
Chores need doing, dishes need washing, the trash needs to be taken out, and laundry needs to be hung up to dry. Asking the kids to help out with tasks like this takes the load off you and gets them on their feet.
2. Ask them to show you something
It’s an age-old trick, but it works. Ask your child to show you a new yoga move, a recently learned dance or a mastered tennis swing. It may only take a couple of minutes, but it’ll get the heart pumping and get the child off the couch, even for a little while.
3. Take a dance break
Encourage small five-minute breaks in study and homework schedules, where you put on a song and everyone dances along before returning to what they were doing.
4. Park far from the entrance
Yes, there may be a parking spot right near the door, but intentionally parking a bit further away forces you and the kids to walk that bit extra into the store.
5. Take the stairs
Avoid the lift or the escalator and use the stairs instead.
6. Convert non-active moments into active ones
Watching TV or reading a book are generally sedentary activities, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Think of a trigger such as the appearance of a character in a movie or the appearance of a certain word in the book, and add a physical activity element to it. For example, “Every time you see Mickey Mouse, you need to jump up and down three times”, or “Each time you see a word with a ‘q’, stand up and clap your hands”.
The information in this article is intended for general purposes only. If you have any concerns about your health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a healthcare professional.