Are you like me and you remember those days of old when we would go to school, stand beside our desk and then some music would pipe through the intercom that sounded a little bit like Popcorn and we would shimmy around. Yes I am talking about the Health Hustle! Well, fact is it doesn’t fly like that these days and kids still need to move to keep healthy!
So we all pretty much know that kids today are not moving the way that they once did because of so many sedentary activities taking up their time.
BUT, did you know that their activity level now will actually dictate for the most part how active they will be when they grow up? Yes it is true and because of this it is truly the responsibility of parents to ensure they get off the couch. They will thank you for it later!
So not all kids are created equal so here are some ideas to help you get going with the right activity for yours!
What gets Kids Going?
- Choosing the right activities for a child’s age: If you don’t, the child may be bored or frustrated.
- Giving kids plenty of opportunity to be active: Kids need parents to make activity easy by providing equipment and taking them to playgrounds and other active spots.
- Keeping the focus on fun: Kids won’t do something they don’t enjoy.
Benefits of Moving
- strong muscles and bones
- weight control
- decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- better sleep
- a better outlook on life
So how much activity is a good amount? Toddlers and Preschoolers should play actively several times a day; kids from 6 to 17 years should do 60 minutes or more.
Ideas for Different Age Groups
Preschoolers: Preschoolers need play and exercise that helps them continue to develop important motor skills — kicking or throwing a ball, playing tag or follow the leader, hopping on one foot, riding a trike or bike with training wheels or running obstacle courses.
Preschoolers can’t understand complex rules and often lack the attention span, skills, and coordination needed to play sports. Instead of learning to play a sport, they should work on fundamental skills.
School-age: Traditional sports like baseball and basketball are a great way to get kids away from the tube and also learn the value of teamwork and structure.
As kids learn basic skills and simple rules in the early school-age years, there might only be a few athletic standouts. As kids get older, differences in ability and personality become more apparent. Commitment and interest level often go along with ability, which is why it’s important to find an activity that’s right for your child.
Teenagers: Teens have many choices when it comes to being active but may present more of a challenge in taking direction so be firm but fair.
Also being a role model in your own regime makes a big difference with kids in this age bracket.
Did you Know Your Kid Has a Fitness Personality?
Which of these three types best describes your child?
1. The nonathlete: This child may lack athletic ability, interest in physical activity, or both.
2. The casual athlete: This child is interested in being active but isn’t a star player and is at risk of getting discouraged in a competitive athletic environment.
3. The athlete: This child has athletic ability, is committed to a sport or activity, and likely to ramp up practice time and intensity of competition.
Bottom line with this assessment is that some kids are going to want to pursue athletic excellence and others….not so much. The key is no matter what personality that SOME activity is found that is enjoyable and doable.
The best activities for all personalities? In my opinion, the ones that the whole family can enjoy together!
Is your family active? Are you? What activities do you do and how much? Comments Welcome!