Get your kids active
Even though we're all aware of the health benefits of exercise, over 50 percent of adults still don't get enough exercise. Just like with our nutrition, the exercise habits we create when we?re young are usually carried over into our adult life. So get your kid moving now to keep them healthy well into future.
There are some disturbing trends that are forming among children and teens in terms of the level of physical activity they're getting. Overall kids aged from two to 19 years of age aren't getting nearly enough exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. According to the SA Medical Research Council, 17 percent of SA children between the ages of one and nine years are overweight.
The combination of eating too much food or the wrong types of food and lack of physical activity are the leading causes of childhood obesity.
Get them active
Children are going to be influenced by the adults around them. That's why it's so important that you set a good example. If you aren't getting enough exercise it will be hard to explain to a child why they need to keep up their physical activity. Start making changes in your own work out regimen and not only will you improve the chances of your child getting active to stay healthy, but you as well will feel the health benefits.
1. Exercise together:
A perfect way to implement this is to plan physical activities that you and your child can do together. Not only will this give you quality time together but it will give you both a chance to get your heart pumping. It may be easier to stick with it if there's someone else to hold you accountable and enjoy the activity with.
2. Kid-friendly exercise:
Exercise for kids doesn't have to feel like exercise. By choosing activities that are fun, getting your child moving won't be as much of a struggle and the duration of activity will likely last longer. Also try to incorporate activities that are new. This will keep your kid mentally involved as they learn something new and broaden their perspective on what can considered exercise.
3. Reduce sedentary activities:
Sedentary activities are those that require very little exertion and aren?t considered exercise. Things like watching television and playing video games fall into this category. So to improve your child's chances of getting the daily physical activity they need you must reduce these activities. The easiest way to do so is to eliminate or limit the temptation by not having these electronics around or easily accessible.
Definitely avoid putting a television in your child's room. Also set limits on the amount of time your child is allowed to take part in these sedentary activities. It might be tough on the child at first but in the long run they'll be able to cope with a better balance in their activities.
Exercise for different ages
Exercise for two- to three-year-olds
At this age toddlers are developing their motor skills, such as running and throwing. Children at this age have energy to spare for physical activity, so they can benefit from up to one and a half hours of daily exercise. A good exercise plan is to allow them 60 minutes of unstructured activity that is something they're conducting as well as 30 minutes of structured exercise time.
Recommended exercises for this age group include traditional games like tag and leap frog as well as activities that include age appropriate toys.
Exercise for four- to five-year-olds
By the time your child is four they have developed their motor skills enough to control the basics. At this stage they are continuing to improve balance and increasing their physical skill set.
At this age focus on activities that help them work on their balance and hand-eye coordination like catch or gymnastics. Depending on your child's physical abilities and comfort level more involved exercises like learning to swim or ride a bike is also an option.
Also, nutrition for your child at this age is important, so to assist parents in giving their children the nutrients they need to ensure that they grow healthy and strong, you could try Nutren Junior. It is a balanced nutritional supplement which answers the needs of children between the ages of one and 10 years old who for some reason or another, are not getting their full nutritional intake on a daily basis.
Exercise for ages six to 12
From age six to 12 it's important to start really laying the groundwork for healthy exercise habits. This is the time when kids can really start becoming more involved with the decisions they make with regards to exercise. This is also when many children start participating in organised sports.
From six to 12 years old 60 minutes of exercise a day is the required minimum. This is when you can help your child really develop a fitness routine with team sports that meet a few times a week as well as activities they can do regularly at home.
Exercise for ages 13 to 18
This could possibly be the most vital time for your child to keep up daily physical activity. As kids get older the amount of exercise they get drops, starting at age 13 for girls and 15 for boys. In addition to health benefits, such as weight management, physical activity can increase self-esteem and a positive self image among this age group which is also very important.