Children love to be active. Making physical activity a part of their daily routine is not only fun, but also healthy.
Physical activity is important for healthy growth and development. By encouraging children to be active when they are young also establishes a routine that could stay with them throughout their life.
Did you know?
Children should be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day and spend no more than 2 hours a day surfing the net, watching TV or playing video games.
There are plenty of ways to be active, here are some ideas to get your children started.
be active together. Quality time isn’t time in front of the TV, or eating takeaway food in the car. Plan some trips. Picnics are great at the park or the beach. Being active together will improve personal relationships and get your family communicating better.
Encourage both moderate and vigorous activities every day. As a family, aim to do a range of different activities that helps children develop healthy bones, muscles and joints. Do more moderate exercise like brisk walking and vigorous activities that make everyone ‘huff and puff’. A game of footy in the backyard will get the blood flowing!
Get active any way you can. Children love it when mum and dad join in their games. Throw a frisbee or ball together, fly a kite or play hop-scotch. Stay active by walking the children to school or riding your bike with them.
Become a team player. Team games are great fun. Play football, basketball, netball, tennis or soccer by joining a club, or just play team games with friends in the neighbourhood.
Take up active recreation at every opportunity. Enrol children in dance classes. Or, for that matter, enrol yourself! The tango can give you quite a workout. Enjoy rollerskating, take up swimming, go for a gentle run or a good walk.
Get into physical education. The importance of physical education for children shouldn’t be underestimated. All children deserve the opportunity to learn new skills to be active for life. Try a range of activities that call for different skills, like catching, throwing, balance and coordination.
Reduce inactive leisure time. Limit television viewing, cut down on video games and reduce time surfing the net.
Get the family involved in local activities. Encourage more social involvement by joining after school clubs and taking part in community events.
Be a good role model for your kids. If an active lifestyle is part of your life, you’re much more likely to pass similar good habits to your children.
Explore ways to be an active family. Explore a national park, go bushwalking, hike and camp in the hills, take a walking tour of the city, bike ride together and play with your children.
Lock up your car. Leave the car at home for short journeys like the school run and trips to the shops – take a bike ride, go rollerblading or walk there instead.
Support your children’s choice of activities. Some children go for organised sports such as netball and basketball. Other children prefer less structured activities like bike riding. Whatever their choice, praise them for their efforts.