Many children in the modern world prefer virtual reality and television ahead of physical activity. This is hardly surprising, but a lack of physical activity can put your child at serious risk of becoming overweight. In turn, carrying extra weight can lead to problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and sleep apnea. Being overweight can also have negative psychological effects on a child. Thus, it is absolutely vital that a child gets some form of physical exercise.
Prior to exercising, one should warm up. This applies even to children. Warming up helps us to avoid injury, and should take about five minutes to undertake. In order to warm up, a short walk might suffice, as will a short course of jumping jacks. The latter can be performed inside the house. Stretching is another good way to warm up prior to exercise.
Having warmed up, try to make the exercises the child undertakes as much fun as possible. Obviously, children will be more keen to exercise if it involves some element of fun. You might, for example, take a child to the park. This can be a good way to encourage the child to get out of the house. Play games with the child. Pass on any childhood games you might have learned when you were younger. You might try playing toss with the child. If you are playing with your child, try to do it outside, in the open air. Being outside is great for kids. You might also try playing tag or hide and seek.
Walking is not just for warming up, it can also be a great form of exercise. Try taking your child on an ‘adventure’, or nature walk. This might also serve to teach the child something about the world in which they live.
Post exercise, make sure you and the child cool down, as this will help avoidance of injury. Cooling down can take the same form as warming up, and should be undertaken gently and with the intention of becoming relaxed after the exercise.
Things to remember
Remember to be patient with a child during exercise. Don’t push them to their limits, and make sure that they stay well hydrated. Additionally, ensure that the child is maintaining a healthy diet, as exercise will be meaningless without a proper diet. Habits such as diet and exercise will carry from childhood into adulthood, so start early.
It is important that you, as a parent or guardian, participate as much as possible in the exercise your child is undertaking. This will show the child that exercising can be fun and, since most children imitate their parents, they will want to do what you do. Getting your child to exercise should not be thought of as a chore. Rather, you should consider it a good way to connect and spend some time with your child.