Summer is a Great Chance to Get Your Child Active
Every parent knows how important being physically active is to the health of their child. Summer is a perfect time to get your kids out of the house and active. Since your child is likely out of school for the summer, they have much more time available to exercise. However, it can be hard for parents to get their kids up and moving, but it is far from impossible. Here are some helpful ways to get your child active this summer.
Lead by Example
Most children look up to their parents and try to mirror their actions. This is why it is important to always act appropriately and respectfully in front of them. However, a great way to ensure that your child stays active this summer is to be active yourself. You should make sure that you are being as physically active as possible, and that your child sees you exercising. According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended that you spend 150 minutes a week exercising. This can equal to 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. As you build your routine yourself, your child will see you and hopefully adopt this behavior as well.
Limit Electronics Use
It has been found that the average child spends roughly 30 hours a week on screen time. With such a high amount of time spent glued to a screen, this limits the time they can be active. It can be hard to regulate how much time your child spends in front of a screen due to how easy it is to access them, but it is important for you to try your best to limit this time. Avoid letting them have access to a screen in their bedroom. You can also set strict limits and rules for screen time daily. This forces them to find alternative forms of entertainment which can organically lead to exercise.
Communities all across the country offer a wide variety of day camps for your child while you are away at work. Many institutions know how challenging it can be to keep an eye on your child during the summer. They often offer many opportunities throughout the course of the camp that asks your child to be active. Often, they are either free or are of very low cost. They allow your child to spend more time with their friends in a safe location while being healthy and active.
Encourage Participation in Sports
Much like day camps, organized sports offer a chance for your child to be active throughout the summer. Summer is the perfect time for baseball and soccer. Encourage them to try out a number of different sports to see if they take to them. Not every child is interested in participating in sports. If they do not find fun or enjoyment in the activity, there is less likelihood that they will actually do it. There are a plethora of benefits that can be had from play sports, and if they do show interest in attempting them, contact your local YMCA or other sports groups in the area.
Don’t Make It a Chore
It is important that you let your child know how important exercising is for their health, but you don’t want them to see it as a chore or something they are forced to do. It is best to offer your child a variety of physical activities to find which one they find most exciting and fun. Do not try to force them into exercising as this will push them away from it. You do not want your child seeing exercise as a punishment. Try to use physical activities as a reward for chores they do around the house or good behavior.
Involve Water Activities
We all know how excruciating the summer heat in Texas can be. It can be just as terrible for your little ones. This can frequently make them want to avoid spending the day out in the heat. However, there are ways to still encourage them to be active in the summer months. Include activities that involve the use of water. Whether a beach, pool, or even just a sprinkler or slip-n-slide, these activities will cool your child off while also keep them very active. Not to mention, the cardiovascular benefits swimming offers you.
Include Friends and Family
Many of your children’s friends will be free during the summer and looking for things to do as well. Your child will be excited to spend most any activity spent with a friend of theirs. Even if their friends aren’t available, try and plan activities outside with family member, specifically kids their age that they can play with. The next time your child seems hesitant to partake in physical activity, enlist the help of a friend of theirs. Not only will you be able to keep your child active, but you will also be helping a fellow parent out as well.
Keeping your child active is one of the best ways to ensure their health. While they are at a young age, it is your job to get them in a position to be as healthy as possible for their future. The summer months present plenty of opportunities for your child to get physically active and build strong, healthy habits for the rest of their life. To help monitor their help, bring them by Tots N Teens Pediatrics to get a comprehensive child exam.