Raising a Healthy Family: How to Get Your Child to Exercise
by Kate Williams 28/09/2021 | 11:12Posted in Baby & Kids
WHO released Global guidelines for movement behaviour for children under 5 years old. Pre-school children should get at least 180 min physical activity and at least 60 min should be at moderate- to vigorous intensity. Moreover, they should have no more than 1 h of sedentary screen time (e.g. television viewing, using a computer or tablets/smartphones while sitting) and punch in 10–13 h good-quality sleep per day.
Even though Australia was one of the global leaders for participating in organised sports and it’s the most common form of physical activity amongst Australians aged 5-17 years, 80% of Australian children and teenagers are not sufficiently physically active to meet the daily recommendation. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic happened and as the kids sport clothing is being pushed further back in the closet, parents keep getting requests for a new mouse pad, headphones or tablet.
How Can I Get my Child to be More Active?
Get the Right Kids Sports Gear
A job well prepared is a job half done. The same goes for sports. If you want to get your kid moving and maximise their productivity, you need to get them ready for the challenges ahead. Choosing the right kids sports clothing will help them move more freely and learn. Whether you like it or not, children are subjected to and do create relationships with brands. In the social media world where every influencer has power over your word, it’s of utmost importance to direct them on the path of comfort and practicality from an early age.
Up until the 2000s, many sports magazines and influential media that set up the standards in sports did not represent the female gender in a substantial amount. The still docile role of the female predominated, leaving her with the commercials for house appliances and cosmetics. Luckily, things have changed and there are brands that focus on giving young girls and women the kids sports clothing they need for the very active lives they’ll lead.
Furthermore, it’s been argued that wearing of sports team clothing and the consumption of sports knowledge helps kids to build relationships in their peer communities, much in the way that consumption is seen in general, as a way that youth shape identities and forge meaningful connections with peers. If there is no itching, scratching, tightness and restriction of arms and legs they’ll have no excuse to not move. Thus, four-way stretch fabrics and high-rise fit bottoms are the way to go. Instead of choosing pizzaz, teach them breathability.
Last but not least, sports equipment. The complexity of your goal to get your kid to move depends on the complexity of sports you choose. Surely playing basketball or teaching your kid how to jump rope will be far less demanding and economical than teaching them cricket. If your kid likes being on wheels, getting a skating helmet and knee or elbow protectors is as important as getting the skateboard and rollerskates.
Optimise Your Yard
As mentioned above, most of the children’s physical activity was through organized sports, a cultural mark and momentum of humanity that was very hard to maintain, let alone regularly practice for the last year and a half. However, those of you that have a yard also have the luxury of creating your own personal playground or a little outdoor gym in the corner.
By getting some fairly cheap sports equipment and safe-proofing your yard, you and your kids will have readily available and much needed contact with the outdoors. Shooting hoops is even better when you just have to put on your sneakers and step outside in your yard.
Rock climbing enables kids to build both muscle and mental strength while putting up a kids’ climbing wall requires much less effort than you might have thought.
A backyard jungle gym can give your children the opportunity to explore their wilder side and motor skills while learning how to fall. Make sure you choose playground safe flooring like rubber, artificial grass or playground sand. On the other hand, ping pong is a low-impact form of exercise, which means that it involves the lowest possible risk of injuries, making it very suitable for both children and adults. This makes a ping pong table a great addition to your outdoor area.
Visit the Great Outdoors
Going hiking, on a field trip or camping might not be one of the easiest endeavours but it sure is one of the most essential ones. Also, there are plenty of ways to make outdoor adventures more enjoyable for both of you. It just takes time. It’s natural to wonder why is camping important for kids as a parent primarily concerned with safety and necessity. However, motivating your kids to reconnect with nature should be one of your priorities. In order for your kids to have less screen time, they should learn to self-entertain while they don’t have a tablet or be humble and modest as they don’t have anything within reach.
Additionally, the fresh air and sun while swimming in natural waters can boost their immunities and moods while they refresh and invigorate you. Besides, seeing new types of plants and animals in their natural habitats is much better than visiting them in a zoo. Moreover, every child and adult should have basic survival skills. Introducing this idea of preparedness for the worst to your child and talking about sensitive subjects does not only increase bonding but also normalizes certain topics to your kid that he’s going to come across eventually. Pink and healthy bubbles are not healthy to live in.
Turn Sporting Time Into Bonding Time
In this perplexing world where time is of the essence, a 21st parent can easily go ballistic when trying to achieve it all. Unfortunately, not all fronts can be covered and something’s got to give. A choice between “you time” and family time seems brutal and unfair. Every parent probably has a different idea of what are some fun family activities but choosing sports creates a solid ground for both fun and health. Moreover, you’ll get to spend time with your kids while being active, covering 2 essential things for leading a healthy and happy life.
Next time you go out jogging, take your child with you. At a certain age, kids tend to yearn for access to adult activities. Introducing them into the world of aerobic exercise can be truly adventurous for them if you choose different routes or take them to the nearest part. Make sure your child has the appropriate kids activewear so it feels comfortable and doesn’t dread the activity. If you want to be extra adorable, choose matching running shoes.
A soccer net can even turn that Sunday barbecue with the extended family into a match. It’s a great way to get everyone on their feet while introducing true family values to your kid. By just adding a tennis net in your backyard, you can inspire quality family time when either the siblings or you and your kid can team up. Being on the same team will relax your child and give it confidence. It has nothing to fear and can shoot for the stars now that you’re by its side. Moreover, team play requires collaboration, giving the siblings a chance to fight for instead of over something.
Practice What You Preach
As they move from childhood to adolescence, girls and boys begin to redefine themselves through a complex process. This includes developing moral and ethical codes, coping with emerging sexuality, constructing a self-image, clarifying gender roles and preparing for occupational roles. Children look to external sources for guidance throughout this process.
Social learning theory states that children learn, imitate and eventually internalize behaviour they observe in their most immediate environment i.e. families, on playgrounds, in schools and in the media. You can’t expect your kids to believe you that they’re going to have fun and feel healthy and happy if they exercise when your relaxation time includes watching Netflix. If you’re a couch potato, remember that you are leading by example.
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Living in a tiny home with her not so tiny family, Kate considers multitasking to be her power as a caring supermum and wife. Whenever she's not in curled up in her writer's corner, covering various topics on kids and baby stuff, health, education, knowledge, entertainment or interior decor, you'd find her enjoying some quality time with loved ones, both indoors and out, sharing different experiences together; what better way to chase a writer's block away, right?!