Raising Active Children

The first step to raising an active child is to get moving! Kids should be physically active for at least three hours a day! To help your child meet this daily goal, try encouraging them to engage in unstructured and structured activities. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and reduce the amount of time they spend in front of the television. You can even use sliders on a clock or wall to help your child get their recommended 60 minutes of activity.

Active children should be physically active for at least three hours a day

Every movement counts and children should be physically active for at least three or more hours a day. Babies and young toddlers benefit from playtime on the floor, where they develop their gross and fine motor skills and muscles. Children aged one to three years should participate in physical activity for at least three hours a day, including energetic play. Toddlers and young children should be encouraged to play with puzzles and other toys.

Ample physical activity is necessary to improve health and prevent disease. Active children have fewer health problems than inactive children. Children with active parents are more likely to be physically active and less likely to engage in risky behaviors. However, not all children are naturally active and may need some encouragement to get moving. Lack of motivation, lack of self-confidence, and skills may contribute to a child’s inactivity.

They should be active in structured and unstructured activities

As a parent, it can seem overwhelming to make decisions about your child’s physical activities, especially in the early years. There are two types of physical activities for children – structured and unstructured. Structured activities are planned, and are geared toward teaching the fundamental movement skills. Unstructured activities involve self-selection. Examples of unstructured play are riding a bicycle, playing tag, or playing on the playground.

Parents and caregivers can engage their children in physical activities by implementing guidelines for each age group. For example, toddlers should participate in physical activities alongside caregivers. Children should be actively engaged in daily physical activities such as rompling around on playground equipment, interacting with family and friends, playing with cars and trucks, and climbing. Parents can also incorporate Frequently Asked Questions and a glossary of terms into their child’s daily routine.

They should take the stairs instead of the elevator

Encourage your active children to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Carry their groceries and do household chores with them instead of the elevator. Set up a special section of the yard for them, and let them help with the gardening. It is also a good idea to wear protective gear when doing physical activities. Set a good example. If you take the stairs instead of the elevator at work, your kids will follow your lead.

They should spend less time in front of a screen

Parents should limit the amount of time their children spend watching television or playing video games. For children younger than two, screen time should be limited to 20 to 30 minutes. The screen time should be replaced with other activities, such as playing board games or physical games. Limiting screen time to two hours a day is a good goal, and parents should set a good example by staying active themselves. Children learn best when they are active and interact with other people.

Parents should remind their kids to be more active, especially during adolescence. According to a new report by the WHO, children should spend less time in front of a screen than other kids their age. This is based on a study that surveyed over 1,200 U.S. children aged six to 11 in 2009-2010. The results indicated that only 38 percent of elementary school-aged kids met both the screen-time and physical activity recommendations.

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