How to incorporate exercise into your child's daily routine (and make it fun!)
As a parent, no doubt you're fully aware of the vast benefits of physical activity for your little ones. There’s good health, vitality, fitness, and a whole host of cognitive benefits that aid their focus, concentration and overall wellbeing.
Unless you’re blessed with a naturally sporty infant that can’t get outdoors enough, getting your kids to actually move can be incredibly difficult. Between mobile phones and gaming stations, staying indoors can feel irresistible for the younger generations.
While there’s nothing wrong with a bit of screen time now and again, when physical activities start to fall by the wayside, it’s time to start thinking of a strategy to get them moving again. Getting kids engaged in a fun sport or activity provides experiential learning opportunities that they’ll carry through to adulthood. Whether it’s working as a team, striving for improvement, or aiming for a particular goal, they’re learning valuable life skills from an early age.
Movement is still exercise
Getting your kids active doesn’t always have to be about taking them to a park or playing sports. We all lead busy lives and sometimes it's inconvenient to head out for an hour or two to keep them occupied.
During busy times, it can be made much simpler by encouraging them to walk the dog with you or helping you do a few chores (for a reward, of course!). Did you know that dancing can burn between 300 and 600 calories an hour depending on intensity? Turn the music up and encourage them to dance along to their favourite songs!
When it comes to summer holidays and you’re out of ideas, consider a treasure hunt that has them constantly moving while they follow clues. It’s easy to set up with a bit of preparation and it costs next to nothing. Kids will be focused, engaged, and excited along with keeping their bodies active in the process. (And grown-ups may even get a little bit of free time!) Check out our top 5 tips for an active summer holiday here.
Tapping into the competitive spirit is a great motivator for both kids and adults alike, and if there’s a prize to sweeten the deal, it’s even more of a fun challenge.
Head to the local park on a sunny day and time each other to do laps or run between two points, the person with the fastest time is the winner! It’s not only great exercise for the whole family (ideal if you haven’t managed to get in your physical activity too) but it’s also valuable bonding time and full of fun.
Getting to see parents get that bit too competitive is great for leading by example and doubles up as one of many wonderful childhood memories.
Remember, when kids see their parents being active, it’s far more likely that they’ll be more active themselves.
Sign them up for a new hobby
Signing children up for a new sport is a great way of getting children excited about exercise. Weekly sporting classes or sessions are something for kids to get excited about and they’ll meet new likeminded friends along the way.
Whether you opt for swimming, gymnastics, dancing, or karate, you’ll be ensuring that your child is fully active and keeping themselves lean and healthy in the process.
Studies show that increased physical activity in children positively correlates with beneficial eating habits, so after a few weeks of regular classes, you might find your little one happily tucking into their broccoli and carrots!
Gymnastics has gained great momentum over recent years as a diverse, inclusive and accessible sport that is popular amongst both girls and boys of varying ages.
It is more than being fun and challenging, it provides experiential learning that teaches determination, endurance, self-discipline, and resilience; a valuable life lesson in picking yourself up and trying again. In addition to the obvious physical skills that are to be gained, being part of a gymnastics club is amazing at improving self-esteem, building confidence, and meeting new life-long friends.
If you're little one is ready to give us a try, sign up for our FREE taster sessions - we've still got plenty of spots available for the summer! See you there!