Did you know that kids are supposed to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day? Now, one hour doesn’t sound that hard, but as kids get older there is an ever-increasing demand on their time. Between school, homework, extracurricular activities and clubs, sometimes getting that hour in can be challenging.
It’s never too late to build healthy habits. Physical activity should become as routine a part of your lives as eating and sleeping. So, as a parent, how do you find the time to stay active and healthy? And how can you make exercise fun and enjoyable for your child?
- Set a good example, but embracing a healthier lifestyle yourself. Children who see parents making healthy choices will be more inclined to do the same.
- Limit TV and screen time to two hours a day so there’s time for physical activity
- Turn mundane tasks, like cleaning or raking up leaves into a fun family exercise – race each other, have sprints, try to think of fun and exciting ways to add some extra physical activity into your day
- If your child likes sports, encourage them to keep playing by telling them they are doing good things for their health. If they seem to be waning in their interest, try other things – if soccer is no longer fun, try karate. If basketball is not doing it for them anymore, see if they’d like swimming.
- When running errands, park at the back of the lot so you have to walk further
- Take the stairs whenever possible
- Be flexible…meaning, not only is cardiovascular and strength training needed, but so is stretching. Keep those muscles primed and ready for movement by doing yoga or other stretch routines together. A great time to do these is during commercial breaks or in between TV or YouTube shows.
- Talk to your child and ask them. Find out their interests and work those into your routines. Do they like video games? Turn your living room into a real Mario Bros and jump over “mushrooms” to save the princess. Have them work for screen time. 15 minutes of physical activity earns them 15 minutes of their favorite game.
Parents can turn exercise into a lifelong habit by making fitness a part of their daily schedule and encouraging the same from their children. When you get your child interested at a young age, exercise becomes a normal part of life and that will likely be the routine for years to come.
Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care
Children often present different symptoms than adults and may need different prescriptions and treatments. AllKids pediatric providers are trained to know and recognize these differences, ensuring your child receives the best health care available to them and their small bodies even in the most urgent of circumstances. Both our Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care and our Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care are open every day, from noon to 10 pm. No appointment is necessary, just stop in and start your child on the road back to health.