When Kids grow up, their fondest childhood memories are always the ones where they ran around and played games with their family and friends. Most of the crucial life lessons that children learn start with playing sports which gives them a chance to develop not only motor skills such as speed, reactiveness and eye-hand coordination, but also helps them learn the basic rules of fair play such as sharing, turn-taking and co-operating. So if you want your child to assimilate all these important skills, you’re will have to encourage them to be active from a very early age.
Physical activity is not only essential for adults but also for children in order to help them grow and learn better, not to forget that fun activities such as running, playing games and dancing can lighten up the overall mood of your baby. Simple activities such as play dates and fun family games can give your little one a sense of belonging, allow them to develop friendships and teach them to cope with winning and losing from an early age.
According to paediatricians, children as young as the age of one should engage in at least 3 hours of daily physical activity in order to promote healthy muscle growth and development and alleviate stress. These three hours of activity can be spread throughout the toddler’s day with simple movements such as standing up, crawling, walking or rolling around with toys. As the children grow up and start going to school, parents should continue to encourage them to play sports by organizing outdoor family activities, occasionally walking or riding a bicycle instead of driving a car and encouraging them to join sports club in school.
Studies from Australian Department of Health revealed that children who actively participate in games and sports at an early age are more likely to turn into active adults later on in their lives and less likely to be overweight. These children not only to maintain a healthy weight throughout their childhood and feel more confident in their bodies as they grow up, but are also able to sleep better due to lowered stress levels.
There are several ways that parents can engage their children in physical activity; setting an example for children by leading a healthy, active lifestyle is just one of them. Children learn best by imitating or getting inspiration from their parents which means that your child’s lifestyle is a reflection of your lifestyle so make sure to set a good example for them to follow. Here are some fun activities you can do with your kid to help them stay healthy and fit:
- Playing football – or any other sport that involves running after a ball. This high intensity sport will not only get the whole family in shape but your kids will also love it!
- Water activities such as swimming and kayaking, with adult supervision, are a super fun way to get some exercise in children’s lives.
- Kidergyms are a great place for your children to jump around and play with other kids of their age.
Encouraging your kids to tag along with you when it’s time to walk the dog is another fun way to get some physical activity in their daily routine.