Catch ‘em young is a common catchphrase which is very apt in the context of inculcating a fitness habit in children and getting them to be more physically active.
Ensuring kids are active has become quite a challenge these days with the overdose of screen time that children are exposed to. This combined with increasing competition and long hours indoors tackling a pretty gruelling school schedule, is leading to a lack of sufficient and proper exercise among young children.
Parents and guardians need to find innovative fun ways to get children motivated to stay active. Here are some kid friendly exercises that you can try out with your child.
One of the best ways for children to exercise and stay active is to play sports. Most kids would show a natural inclination towards some or other sport. It could be cycling, swimming, basketball, athletics, badminton or any such active sport that is age-appropriate and will be a good form of physical exercise. It should be something that the child is interested in so that he or she is motivated to be regular.
If the school provides facilities for their choice of sport, encourage participation by suggesting that they try out for the school team or you could enrol them in a private class.
Participating in outdoor sports is a good way for children to get a cardio workout. They get a chance to run, jump and exercise all parts of their body. Being active by playing sports can greatly expand the child’s range of movement and help them stay healthy naturally.
Along with physical fitness there are important life lessons that children pick up by engaging in sports. They learn how to be a good team player, tackle challenges on their own, deal with wins and losses and develop a healthy sportsmanship spirit.
It may be tough to control and limit the excessive screen time that children are exposed to, given their constant use of laptops, tablets, mobiles or just watching TV when at home.
To make children exercise and stay active when indoors, use screen time in a healthy and enjoyable way by integrating some stretching and endurance exercises to get them up and moving. Make a game of how many jumping jacks or spot jogs the child can complete during a commercial break.
Introduce an exercise habit so they get up from their study desk at regular intervals and become active. For example after every hour of sitting at their desks, encourage your children to get up and do 10 -12 lunges or standing alternate toe touches. You could even teach them a few simple yoga postures that will be helpful to release body stiffness and exercise their shoulders, arms, legs and core muscles.
Children are easily distracted and lose interest quickly. To spark and maintain their interest in exercise, it should be an interesting and fun activity. Remember not to push too hard. Try simple exercise ideas such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. If you live in a gated apartment complex, try sprinting with your children from your building to the main gate and back. Try to weave in a bit of exercise at every opportunity such that daily exercise becomes a way of life for the child and the entire family.
While ensuring that your child exercises and stays active, as a parent what is also important to do alongside, is to buy health insurance. Having health insurance for you and your family prepares you financially to deal with any unforeseen medical emergency.
It is advisable to go in for a comprehensive health insurance policy that can give you benefits ranging from cashless hospitalisation cover at network hospitals to 24x7 call assistance and lifetime renewal. A health insurance policy can even cover your pre and post hospitalisation expenses as well as protect your finances during critical illness. Ensure that you buy a suitable health cover from a reputed health insurance provider and secure the health of your family.
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