One of the prime worries that a parent faces these days is to maintain a healthy exercise and diet routine for their children. As your child turns into a toddler, it becomes essential for you to keep track of their daily routine so that they do not miss out on their required amount of exercise every day. As your child grows older, their willingness and time for physical activities will decrease and it is your duty to make sure that their exercise is optimum in their childhood so that they can make a habit of it later in their lives.
A healthy child is a happy child. Regular exercise has many benefits:
-Strong muscles and bones
-Decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
-A better outlook on life
Healthy, physically active kids are more likely to be academically motivated, alert, and successful. Physical competence builds self-esteem at an every age.
How to inculcate this habit in your child-
Find a fun activity-
Help your child find a sport that she enjoys. The more she enjoys the activity, the more likely she is to continue it. Get the entire family involved. It is a great way to spend time together. Choose an activity that is developmentally appropriate. For example, a 7 or 8 year-old child is not ready for weight lifting or a 3-mile run, but soccer, bicycle riding, and swimming are quite appropriate.
Plan a routine-
Make sure your child has a convenient time and place to exercise.
Make sure your child’s equipment and chosen site for the sport or activity are safe. It is also important to ensure that your child’s clothing is comfortable and appropriate.
Provide active toys-
Young children require easy access to balls, jump ropes, and other active toys.
Be a role model. Children who regularly see their parents enjoying sports and physical activity are more likely to do so themselves.
Limit TV watching and computer use-
The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends no more than 1 to 2 hours of total screen time, including TV, videos, computers, and video games, each day. Use the free time for more physical activities.
Do not overdo it-
When your child is ready to start, remember to tell her to listen to her body. Exercise and physical activity should not hurt. If this occurs, your child should slow down or try a less vigorous activity. As with any activity, it is important not to overdo it. If your child’s weight drops below an average, acceptable level or if exercise starts to interfere with school or other activities, talk with your child’s doctor.
Exercise along with a balanced diet provides the foundation for a healthy, active life. This is even more important for children who are obese. One of the most important things parents can do is encourage healthy habits in their children early on in life. It is not too late to start a healthy living today! Get fit, get going!