The days of going outside on your bike and disappearing into the neighborhood for hours with friends has become a nostalgic thing of the past. Only one in three children are physically active in a given day; it seems all kids in the modern era want to do is spend time in front of a screen.
Kids pick up on their parents’ habits, so here are 7 habits to get into so your child can become more physically active.
- Consult your doctor
Your child’s pediatrician knows best how much physical activity your child should be getting depending on their medical history. While some children can be involved in multiple sports and enjoy it, some children can feel stressed about multiple commitments.
- Discover a new fun activity
Try something new! If your child doesn’t like tennis, try badminton! Taking time to play a unique sport with your child strengthens your special bond.
- Plan a routine
By making physical activity habitual, kids understand when they should be exercising. Children respond well to routine, especially when it is convenient and timely.
- Provide an active, safe environment
Help your child feel confident in the activity they are doing by ensuring they have the appropriate equipment and a safe place to practice.
- Walk the walk
Playing with your kids is extremely important to their well-being. When kids see their parents getting outside and practicing with them, they’ll feel more apt to continue. If the sport is more advanced, being present at practices and games can also encourage them.
- Turn off the screen
Setting an expectation for the allotted screen time usage can prevent complaints down the line. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children should not have more than 1-2 hours of total screen time throughout the day.
- Do what feels right for your child
Listen to your child when they tell you about a sport they’re trying out. They should be learning how physical activity can improve their life, not cause them stress. Keep an eye out for excessive weight loss or a notable difference in their demeanor after starting sports and update their pediatrician.