5 ways your child can get more exercise
Dave Johnson | On 24, Oct 2013
A recent report by the BBC discussed work by Univeristy College London researchers who found that a mere 51% of the 6,500 children they looked at were taking the recommended hour of physical activity per day. For most parents this must be a worrying concern but in our busy modern world what choices are there to increase the amount of exercise our kids get. What follows are five simple ideas that will help get your kids exercising more.
Join in the gardening
If you have a garden there is a lot of activity needed to keep it looking neat and tidy. Why not turn that activity into things the children can do. Help collecting leaves that have fallen is a good way of getting exercise. You can also turn a small part into a vegetable patch. The kids will love growing their own vegetables and all the digging and weeding that needs to be done is a perfect chance to introduce more exercise into the kid’s routine.
Six a Side Football
once the preserve of boys only, organised football is now popular with girls as well as boys. With smaller pitches and smaller goals, six a side football is a perfect way of getting children up and running around. There are organised football leagues across the UK and teams offer training sessions as well as actual matches so there are plenty of exercise opportunities to be had when joining a six a side team.
Go out for family walks
Find time to build regular walks into your schedule. Walking together as a family will soon become something the children look forward to if you make it fun. If you want to take the children to a local park, why not walk to get there? If the walk threatens to be boring and to spoil the fun of the main event at the park, why not introduce some fun games into the walk. Try speed walking competitions – who can reach the next lamp post first, who can pass the red car first – that sort of thing. Just be mindful though, avoid introducing running on the pavement for obvious reasons.
Walking the dog
For many families, exercising the dog is a real chore so why not turn it into some family fun. A twenty minute walk with the dog in the evening is a good way of getting in some extra exercise, it will be good for you, good for the kids and good for the dog as well. You can always add extra interest by teaching the children to control the dog properly. Lots of opportunities to practices sit and stay as you walk around the block – oh and don’t forget your pooh bags!
Swimming and exercise in the water is one of the best all round activities possible. Once they have the confidence, children really love playing in the water, even if they are not yet proficient swimmers. Your local swimming pool will offer swimming lessons as well as sessions for non-swimmers who can play lots of games designed to give them confidence in the water as well as lots of exercise.