What Do You Do to Increase Your Kids Daily Activity?
Guest Blogger: Jen Burg of The Suburban Mom
Some kids are born with a natural desire to be active. They are drawn to playing outside, to riding bikes at full speed and playing sports. Then there are other kids who prefer to play quietly inside drawing, reading and pretending. My daughter is the latter. And while the skills she is developing during her indoor play will serve her well, sometimes I worry about her not getting enough active play.
Our typical conversation goes like this. “What do you want to do today?”
“Play in the playroom.”
“Let’s go ride your bike.”
“No, let’s read a book.”
How do you argue with a kid who wants to read?!
Unfortunately, on days I am able to convince her to play outside, she isn’t very coordinated and she struggles riding her bike or scooter. So inevitably she ends up drawing with sidewalk chalk.
The standard recommendation is for kids to get an hour of physical activity each day. For my daughter, that is a lofty goal. Sure there are days she gets three times that amount, but others she doesn’t get any. In my quest to increase her daily physical activity, I have found a few tips to add activity to her routine.
- Hang out with active kids. As I mentioned before, there are always those children who are just naturally active. Invite them over for a play date and let them loose in the backyard.
- Put it on the calendar. Sign your child up for a regular activity like dance or a sport. By having something official on the calendar each week you will ensure regular movement.
- Do it together. We all know that with kids it is important to model the behavior we want to see them doing. So by doing an activity together you set a positive example while getting some exercise yourself in the process.
- Crank up the music. If it’s too hot (or cold or rainy) to play outside, put on some tunes, get your kiddo’s heart pumping and boogie.
- Appeal to their interests. Don’t force an activity on your little one that makes them cringe, instead look for an alternative that appeals to their interests. Not into sports, try dance. Nowhere to ride a bike, try a jump rope.
If you have a naturally active kid, then they probably get the exercise they need each day without you giving it a second thought. But for the rest of us, the answer to the question, “How active should your kids be?” Is probably more than they are.
Remember that instilling a habit of regular activity now will set your kids up for a lifetime of healthy activity and exercise. A skill that is best learned from a young age. Now get out there and move!