Motivate your kids to move around more
It’s a widely known fact that spending too much time sitting still is harmful to us, even when you try to stay active on a regular basis. Accoring to scientists, the same is true for children, which just gives you another good reason to motivate your kids to move around more.
Read on and find out what to do to how to help your child be more active.
Even for kids who reguarly run around and play outdoors, sitting still for longer periods of time could be unhealthy.
Travis Saunders, Ph.D., who is a co-author of a study about sedentary activities in children, say that
“when we sit for long periods of time, the amount of sugar and fat in the blood becomes elevated, causing the body to pump out more insulin.”
Consequently, that boost in insulin level could result in high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels and lead to obesity and diabetes. Moreover, sitting in front of the TV or computer, known as screen time, could be far more harmful, as it is associated with extra food intake.
So if you are a parent you need to take action and learn how to help your child be more active. Continue reading for a few ideas!
The aforementioned study has shown that children who stand up or move around during periods of sedentary time are healthier than those who sit still for longer periods.
Researchers used accelerometers to track the activity levels of over 500 children throughout a week, and discovered that those who took short breaks during sedentary activities (such as watching TV or using the computer) had lower body mass indexes and cardiometabolic risks as opposed to kids who didn’t take breaks.
Moreover, there are other reasons to encourage our kids to be more active. Spending lots of time sitting as at young age could result in the same bad habits in their adult lives.
“We know that the people who are the most sedentary during childhood tend to be the most sedentary as adults, which can create the risk for health problems later in life,”
So how can you motivate your preschooler to keep moving? You’ll find a few ideas to start with below.
Set outdoor playtime.
Select a time on daily basis that’s reserved for running around outside and make sure you stick to it. Building this kind of routine will give you and your child the basis for raising the activity levels. Consistency is a key issue here, regardless of the weather. If it’s windy, you can build and fly a kite together. If it’s snowy, you can make a snowman or have a snow fight. Just be creative!
Limit screen time
t’s a crucial thing to do, although it might be challenging at first, especially if your child spends quite a lot of time in front of TV or computer. Preschoolers shouldn’t have more than two hours of screen time a day, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Children under two shouldn’t watch TV at all. And last but not least, keep all screens out of your child’s bedroom. According to Saunders, children who have TV sets in their rooms watch more and sleep less.
Remember about frequent breaks
Saunders points out that researchers aren’t certain exactly how often kids ought to break from sitting to stay healthy, but more often is always better than less.
So when you see that your little kid’s been sitting still for a long time, ask them to help you with something or just call them over to show them something interesting (such as an animal you spot outside or anything that your child would be interested in seeing), or even run over and give her a small tickle. All these small and frequent breaks add up.
Encourage other types of play
“Even if kids are doing something that’s sitting down, there are very few things that are as sedentary as sitting in front of the TV or computer,” Saunders says. That’s why all kinds of board games, drawing and coloring, or imaginative activities (such as playing house or kitchen) also make your child active and will work.