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8 ways to keep your kids moving

Canadian directives in regards to physical activity state that children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old should spend at least sixty minutes per day in moderate to high-intensity physical activities. 

Is your young one active? If your answer is no, you are not alone. According to the 2018 ParticipACTION Report showed that out of 100 children, 61 don’t participate in enough daily physical activity.   

What are the benefits of physical activity? How can you motivate your child to keep moving? This article answers those questions. 

The Benefits of Physical Activity

Physical activity brings about many benefits that are both physical and psychological. Here are some of the benefits. 

Reinforces the muscular system

Strengthens bones

Promotes a healthy weight

Supports good flexibility

Good cardiovascular health

Develops good balance

Promotes good posture

Increases self-esteem

Supports a calm and relaxed self

Develops social aptitudes

Lends to better academic performance

Increases concentration

Develops the memory

Encourages problem resolution

Supports greater creativity

Reinforces self-control

Reduces anxiety and depression

Betters stress response 

The Negative Effects of a Lack of Physical Activity

The contrary is also true. High levels of inactivity can bring about physical and psychological complications. 

Overweight and obesity

Hypertension

Dyslipidemia

Type 2 diabetes

Joint pain

Sleep apnea

Constipation

Hepatic steatosis

Headaches

Gastro-esophageal reflux

Anxiety

Depression

Nutrition issues

8 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Get Moving

There are plenty of ways to motivate your kids to enjoy physical activity. 

Discover your child’s interests. To begin, ask your child about their interests. If your child loves basketball but hates baseball, don’t sign them up for baseball. If a course isn’t available, organize a way to play basketball. Keep in mind that most situations are rarely black and white. More and more, in this day and age, children are less enthused about being physically active. It’s important to explore all the options related to their interests and to get creative with ways to motivate your child. 

Set the example. Teach by example. It’s not enough to tell your children or send your children to play outdoors. There is a good chance they will just find a place to sit outside and pull out their device. Try putting the devices away – yours too – and take a walk with your child. Play hide and seek with them, play tag, or whatever other game they choose. As you enjoy your time with them outdoors, they will quickly start to follow in your footsteps. 

Play a game. Physical activity has to be fun and non-coerced to find success. While you walk, ask your child to look for certain objects like a white rock, a large leaf, etc. Organize a treasure hunt, where your child has to follow clues outside. Try placing the clues in areas that require the most physical activity. 

Be creative. Do your children love shows like Ninja Warrior? Create a Parcours in your backyard. Using your imagination, it is possible to use their area of interest to create a fun way to get active. 

Encourage your child to be creative. Give your child the tools they need to be creative. Let them make costumes out of your old clothing, and with a little creativity and determination, they can transform the yard into a pirate ship sailing the seven seas. 

Incorporate social aspects. Having a friend by their side to play pirates or take a walk around the neighbourhood can prove to be a great motivator. Of course, you want to be sure to respect local COVID regulations.

Make chores fun. Ask your child for help around the house. Put on some fun music and dance out your chores. If you are raking up the leaves in fall, see who can make the largest pile. The more your child gets moving, the more they will grow to love it and, in turn, love themselves. 

Register for team sports. Register your child in team sports. They will make new friends and develop a team spirit. Make sure it’s a sport they actually like and encourage them to keep at it! 

Be Realistic

A child can’t become a physical activity enthusiast overnight. Be realistic in your expectations. It’s better to set small goals that your child can achieve than expect them to climb Everest with a smile on their face. 

It’s vital to go slow, be consistent, and maintain healthy habits in all aspects of life. This will help your child live an active and healthy life

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