Guest Post by Delilah Farrell
For many parents, this is a topic that is difficult to face and implement. How does one begin to introduce exercise into a child’s life? This is one of those topics that seems to vary between any parent that is asked. Some may give you “x reasons why it’s too early”, others may not see it as much of an importance. Exercise is important for everyone. Parents that think they don’t have time to exercise may carry the same thoughts into their children’s’ lives.
It’s never too early to introduce your kids to fun physical activities and organized sports. In fact, the earlier the better. Furthermore, physical activity is vital to the development of kids. Pediatricians say that participating in different physical activities assists in muscle-growth develops motor skills, and even reduces the risk of overuse injuries.
Below are some activities that are great for introducing your kids to exercise.
Swimming is one of the ultimate, full-body exercises;, especially for children. Enrolling your child in children’s swimming lessons is a great way to both build skill and possibly develop a love for the water! Being in the water will force your child to use many muscles, focus on balance, and develop fundamental motor skills.
As silly as it may seem, a good ol’ fashioned play date is a great way to get your child active. Rather than occupying your children with video games or a tablet, organize some time for them to play with other neighborhood children or friends. Playing with other children will allow your child to socialize and expend a lot of energy. Not to mention, it’s also a great way for parents to make some new friends while your children are getting active!
Set Up A Sprinkler
It’s starting to heat up outside. If you don’t have a pool, try setting up a sprinkler. This is a fun and affordable way to get your children to run around. Many of us can remember running through the sprinkler, right? For kids, the thrill of running through the water is a blast. It’s a great way for them to stay cool and stay active this summer.
This may not be a “fan favorite” when it’s brought up to kids, but it’s a great way to get them active. Other benefits (along with physical activity) include responsibility, discipline, and the development and understanding of basic household chores. The trick here is to not ask too much of them. For example, don’t expect them to operate things like laundry appliances or the dishwasher. This runs you the risk of ending up with damaged appliances, which would highly discourage their willingness to participate.
Instead, have them participate in simple chores that encourage a bit of physical activity and engagement.
Commercial Break Challenges
Television is something that (almost all of us) get too much of. If your child is watching something, challenge them to exercise during each commercial break. These can be simple exercises like jumping jacks, running in place, or frog jumps. These exercises are fun for children and do not require a lot of coordination.
These are just a few ways to introduce children to exercise. Sports are another good way to do this, but let your child decide whether they want to play. Forcing them to sign up will only discourage them and cause them to lose interest in the sport and exercise as a whole.