Kids NEED Exercise | 5 ways to get kids moving
I read this article the other day, which really validated what the Move, Laugh & Learn program, is all about. But also gave me a kick up the backside in terms of my own kids’ daily activity!
Guidelines set out in a recent study published by the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University state that children aged between 2-4 years old should be involved in a minimum of three hours of physical activity every day. Eek!!!
Now, obviously, we’re not expected to drag our small people to the gym or any other extreme measure. BUT, we can think about supporting their natural instinct for energetic fun. Through every age and stage of life, people engage most with the things that they enjoy.
Take advantage of your child’s natural love of stories, play and adventure and build on that to encourage activity. You can make up all sorts of great stories with the Move, Laugh & Learn characters and games.
It’s important to encourage your child and find activities they enjoy, so they won’t think of exercise as a chore, which means they’re more likely to stick at it. Plus, when you ‘play’ with them, it’ll enhance that feel good vibe – for you both!
Thankfully both of my little groovers are now in full-time school and spend their break times running around with their friends. I’m still looking at ways to up their daily exercise though; on fine days we can walk the mile to school (a good one to make sure I get my own daily exercise in too!); a stop off at the park on the way home from school… and on the not-so-fine days we revisit the Move, Laugh & Learn games we used to play! They still love ‘em J
Here’s 5 easy ways to get your little people moving. (which are good for us big people too!)
1. Join the Move, Laugh & Learn programme (!)
2. Park a little further away from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
3. Put some music on and dance together.
4. Encourage your child to (safely) climb over and under furniture.
5. Get them helping to rake leaves in the garden – or any kind of errands around the home that are safe for them to help with. Up and down stairs is a good one!
See our article for tips on starting new habits to really help you build this activity into your day.
Starting your child’s relationship with activity, exercise and healthy eating early will have a positive impact on their physical and mental health for the rest of their life.
I use various sources to write these news articles including the NHS (UK & Scotland), the Australian Govt. Dept. of Health, World Health Organisation (WHO), Harvard University childhood health articles and what I experience as a mum.