The choices of potential distractions for children inducing a passive lifestyle are limitless: consoles, computers, TV – entertainment electronics in general offer plenty of lazy alternatives, eating into the time that could otherwise be spent out and about and doing exercise. Enough physical activity however, should be absolutely indispensable. It helps prevent overweight, postural deformities, encourages sound sleep and helps children develop social skills. On top of it, being outside greatly contributes to the absorption of vitamin D through UV rays.
Lets get active!
If you want the best shot at fostering good habits, you have to start as early as possible. That’s why parents should take any possible occasion to spend time out in the open air with their child. As soon as the child takes his first steps, there is all the more reason to encourage his new found urge to move around. All you need for this is a little dedicated time. Ideally this time can be spent on the playground or in the park, but there are plenty of creative ways to encourage physical activity in the smallest of apartments. Motion is the best way for the little ones to learn about and understand the capabilities’ that there body offers them. Physical activity requirements increase as the toddler reaches pre-school age, but so do the possible ways of satisfying this urge. Playgrounds, playgroups or even organized sports clubs can be your allies in getting your child to move around. Also try and make sure that there is an ample physical activity program in your child’s kindergarten.
At school age the options are now limitless. Some children will enjoy football, others skateboarding, table tennis or swimming. Parent’s of less enthusiastic children should not rely on the few PE classes being enough to cover the child’s physical activity requirements. Couch potatoes should not be forced through authority, but rather be continuously animated by exploring all the possible choices of activities. Any additional movement will greatly contribute to the toddler’s well-being. Many kid’s that spend too much time at home end up killing time by watching TV or playing computer games. This can often be the entry into a vicious circle, whereby passivity is complemented with unhealthy, fatty foods. These kids run the further danger of becoming social outcasts. Children who arrange to meet their friends or join a sports club on the other hand, learn to integrate with their peers and are less likely to become ‘misfits’.
No matter what tickles your child’s fancy, the important fact is that any kind of physical activity has positive effects on your child’s present and future well-being. At first you should refrain from setting any boundaries or imposing any particular direction. The little ones should rather be given a chance to find their own preferred activity.