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How Active Are Your Kids? This Will Blow Your Mind

July 7th, 2017
How Active Are Your Kids? This Will Blow Your Mind
Having active children doesn’t only mean they enjoy playing but it also means their bodies are growing, muscles are getting stronger, brains are developing and social interaction skills are maturing. Being active as a child plays a vital part in all-round development and sets your child up for a healthier lifestyle as an adult which will prevent life-threatening diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. An active lifestyle also reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and boosts self-confidence.

Shocking statistics show that less than 20% of children in the U.K. manage to get even an hour of moderate intensity physical activity per day, especially as they reach their teenage years (http://www.independent.co.uk). The recommended amount is between 1- 3 hours daily depending on age. This scary statistic means that there is a lack in the development of cognitive skills such as coordination, range of motion, flexibility and motor skills. There is a rise in obesity, a low sense of self-worth and increase depression.

The recommended form of activity can be anything from walking, skipping, cycling, dancing or running. It does not have to include competitive sports. It is understandable that some children prefer not to partake in sporting disciplines, however there are many other ways to be active. Skateboarding, hiking, trampoline jumping or throwing a Frisbee in the park all count.

A huge factor that has resulted in decreased physical activity over the years is the time children spend in front of TV, computer and mobile phone screens. Screen time should be less than 1-2 hours per day. One way of making screen time slightly less sedentary is by encouraging the little ones to do jumping jacks during commercial breaks or to engage in video games that involve some sort of movement (e.g. following dance moves). This does however not replace the need for further physical activity away from the screen.

five ways to encourage your kids to get moving:

Let them find something they enjoy wholeheartedly and they will be sure to continue pursuing it.

Provide active toys such as balls, jump ropes and hula hoops at home.

Provide a supportive atmosphere. If your child does not feel comfortable in a competitive sporting environment, don’t force them as they will start to loath it. Rather encourage them to be active in another, more playful way.

Plan activities with your kids. Not only will it get everyone moving but is also a great bonding time.

When you are shopping or in an apartment block, take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator. This is a sneaky way to get activity into their (and your) lifestyle without any effort at all.

The most important thing to remember is that you are the role model. Leading a physical lifestyle yourself and doing fun activities with your kids will implement this as a lifestyle choice rather than seeming like a chore. Have fun and get moving!

Helga x

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