The fact that you're reading this article shows you're willing to take out the time to figure out what's best for your child. Children with responsible, concerned parents, most likely are already on the right path to good health.
We all know that children's development requires lots of activity. But how can we figure out what is the right amount for our kids?
Most pediatricians agree that kids should exercise for about an hour a day. Some experts recommend 90 minutes. This does not mean strenuous exercise for that duration, but a mixture of activities like running, jumping, swinging their arms, etc–basically, the kind of activities that children perform while playing with each other. Moderate exercise for a child is defined as walking at the rate of 4 km/hour or other equivalent activities, exertion-wise.
Break it up
Depending on where you live and how you structure your children's day, it may be easier to break the activity into several chunks, especially if they have time at school to be physically active. Here's how you can do it:
- Focus on simple activities like walking, playing outdoors, using the stairs instead of the lift, etc. While none of these are 'formal' exercises, all of them help in raising fitter children.
- Besides, there is a significant side benefit for you as well. You can hardly take the lift while asking them to climb five flights of stairs. So lead by example and watch your waistline shrinking.
- Children's physical activity impacts their concentration on school work. You may well find that once your children have spent their large reserves of energy, they're suddenly not as averse to sitting down and doing their schoolwork as before!
Get them excited
The more children look forward to exercise, the easier your life will be in getting them to do it. So the key is to find the right balance between structured group sports like football, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, etc, which require concentration and coordination with coaches and other kids, along with the spontaneous free time for the sheer pleasure of simply running around with their friends and siblings! Now, which child can resist if you put it like that!
Want to know more? Feel free to write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or go to the experts say page and key in your question. We'll get back soon. Also, read Jordyn's piece on kids and over-exertion to ensure the best results for your children.