Physical Activities for Children

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How to Get your Kids off the Couch

If you are like most parents, you know that it is difficult to get your kid off the couch and away from cellphones, video games, and laptops. Doctors have consistently warned against this sedentary lifestyle for children and have urged parents to motivate kids to get out and be active.

Moderate physical activity for at least an hour every day is very important for kids. It boosts metabolism, prevents obesity, regulates blood pressure, builds confidence, and helps them sleep and focus better.

Here are some ideas for getting kids active:

Enrol your kids in swim, dance, martial arts or a gymnastics class. Each of these is a great way of keeping in shape and also exercising the entire body. Standard gyms are not recommended for children.

Plan fun outdoor activities for each day of the week. You can opt for planting flowers, organising a treasure hunt, fruit picking, riding around on a bicycle, skipping, walking the dog, exploring your neighbourhood, hiking, kite flying, jumping on trampolines, skateboarding, throwing Frisbees, an evening at the bowling alley... Anything that gets the kids moving will work!

If your kids are not too much into outdoorsy stuff, you can help them become active indoors as well. There are some excellent Nintendo Wii fitness games that can give your children their much-needed physical activity. Try the Wii Just Dance Kids, Just Dance 3, Just Dance 4, and Sesame Street: Ready, Set, Grover. Our favourite by far is Cabela's Adventure Camp which includes kayaking, fishing, archery, wave-riding, and biking! In addition, you can also take them to your local indoor play centre.

Your kids will be more enthusiastic about physical activity if you make it a family affair. Why not go for a morning or evening walk, run every day as a family, or play outdoor games like badminton, tennis, beach volleyball, tug of war, sack race and hopscotch? These are great ways of having good conversations, sharing laughs and bonding as a family, all the while getting healthier!

Your child does not need to be into sports and athletics to be physically active and fit. Just 60 minutes of moderate activity daily using any of the above ideas will help your child stay healthy and strong. Allow your child to plan physical activities of their liking and organise age-appropriate outdoor activities to keep them motivated.

Inactive children grow up to be inactive (and unhealthy) adults. So it is important to lay the foundation of a healthy lifestyle when your kids are young, which is not a problem since children are naturally energetic. 
Encourage your kids to go out and be active and play with them when they ask you to!

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