It blows my mind that only 19% of children are getting the recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day. With smaller backyards, time poor parents and increased screen time being factors often listed when questioned why kids aren’t getting the required amount of exercise.
The following 5 tips to get your child moving more involve you, the parent or caregiver. These 5 tips not only increase your child’s activity amount, but they double up as a wonderful way to spend quality time together and create, what I like to call, “Magic Moments”. Those beautiful moments where you are giving your child 100% attention and, the most important part, they know it!
Head out to your closest park BUT leave the phone at home or in the car. Be that parent that goes down the slide, plays tag and counts loud in hide and seek. Leaving the phone out of reach leaves no option to give your child 100% attention. Having fun and playing will help you again realize just how amazing the little human you created really is.
Grab the scooter, bikes or roller blades and set off on an adventure. Pack a picnic, travel for 30 minutes, stop for a picnic then head home. Another wonderful way to be active and be together (plus there is food involved!)
Head to Youtube and do a kids workout together. Using positive phrases like “We’ve got this”, “I feel fitter already”, “Wow! You’re so strong” throughout the session to help keep your child engaged. Even if your legs are burning, keep smiling! You are your child’s role model and they will copy your behaviour so it is critical to A) want to do it and B) not give up.
Keep an activity journal together. Again, it is critical that you engage completely on a daily basis. This is a lovely activity to do at the end of the day. Writing down (or drawing pictures) of the exercise you both did today and planning what movement you can do tomorrow. The exercise may not have been done together but you can discuss and journal what you both did that day.
Play wrestle with each other. If you apply the right force which allows your child to move you, your child can get some great resistance training while having a heap of fun. If you let your child win at just the right difficulty, they will want to do more and more. Give it ago and tell me how your heart rate is after 10 minutes.
Using any of these tips will help your child and you increase activity levels. This is nothing but a positive. Doing so in a way that allows you to be more connected with your child is priceless.