Keep Your Kids Healthy – 3 Key Points From The Physical Activity Guidelines Children Should Follow
Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is a must-read document, containing an abundance of valuable information about different age groups. And yes, it has a whole chapter talking about children, starting from age 3.
It is worrying how the obesity epidemics is affecting even school-aged youngsters more and more, and it’s an issue you as parents need to address. In this article, we will give you 3 key points that will help you help your child to achieve long-term health.
Key Point #1: It Has To Be Interesting
Your child needs to enjoy the activity. That is the only way to ingrain healthy habits.
If you force your kid into a sport it doesn’t like, it will treat it as a chore, not something it enjoys doing. That way, you will produce a counter effect, and the child will treat physical activity as something boring and unpleasant, even if it is the healthiest thing in the world.
Give your child the freedom of choice to try different things. Don’t just force your son to play basketball because you had success at college, and don’t force your daughter to sign up for dancing because you always wanted to do it, and your parents didn’t allow you.
Let your child take part in various things which are both healthy and enjoyable. That’s the only way for your child to start loving to train, which will stick for a lifetime.
Key Point #2: Children Need 60+ Minutes Every Day
Unlike adults who need 150-300 minutes per week, growing children need more, an hour or more of activity each day. The good news is that kids have more energy and if they like the activity, performing it every day will be easy.
Let your child choose more than one – for example, you can sign up for swimming classes, but also basketball.
Even playing with friends (outside, not online!) counts, especially something like chasing, playing tag, skipping rope.
Key Point #3: Children Need Different Types of Activities
Here is what you should include in your child’s routine:
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- Vigorous intensity activities– your child needs high-intensity activities too. These include anything from competitive sports such as soccer, swimming, and tennis, but also martial arts which will help your child build coordination. Vigorous dancing counts too, so does running, jumping rope, or active games. Everything that gets the heart racing after a short burst of time counts as vigorous intensity.
- Muscle-strengthening– your child should perform activities to target muscle strength and size. This can be lifting weights, but only under adult supervision. A better choice would be bodyweight training and working out with resistance bands. Games such as the tug of war, and even yoga also help achieve this goal.
- Bone-strengthening– children should work on strengthening their bones, through high-impact activities such as jumping, running, or playing sports like basketball. Punching a bag also helps to strengthen the bones of the upper body.
Yes, we know, putting your child in front of a computer is much easier than driving to practice. However, that approach will harm your child’s health, and not only in the present moment. Your child needs to develop healthy habits, and the sooner, the better.
You, as a parent, have to take full responsibility for your child’s wellbeing and long-term health. It is much harder to correct those habits later in life than it is now.
So don’t be selfish, spend time helping your child pick an activity he/she likes, and show your full support. Teach your child it’s not only about sports performance, winning and losing; it’s about playing a game of health and quality life. If your child develops good habits at an early age, chances are it will pass them on to your grandchildren too, benefiting generations to come.