Leave the High-Tech World Behind!
We live in a high-tech world. Today’s children have been surrounded by technology since the day they were born!
As they get older it’s often more difficult to get kids away from their electronic devices to engage in active play. While it is important for children to understand technology, that importance does not override the need to be healthy and active away from these devices.
Experts say that children need 60 minutes of exercise a day. How can you get your kids moving?
Here are a few ideas that might help motivate your child:
- Try using an activity jar. Sometimes children are indecisive. Have them help you make a list of some of their favorite cardio activities. On the days they are unmotivated (or just can’t decide) you can draw an activity out of the jar as a prompt.
- Whenever possible, get outside! Make it a family affair: Plan activities that get the whole family moving together. These can include bike rides, hikes and backyard games such as water balloon fights, scavenger hunts, obstacle courses, relay races, kickball and family Olympics. The more enjoyable and creative the activity is, the more likely your kids are to participate and to develop a positive feeling toward physical activity.
- Maintain a structured routine: Develop a daily schedule that includes time allotted for movement-related activities to ensure your kids meet the minimum physical activity recommendations. These can be scheduled in small intervals throughout the day or in larger blocks. By making physical activity a priority and encouraging your children to participate in activities they enjoy, you can help them to develop lifelong healthy habits, as those who are active during childhood are more likely to maintain physical activity participation into adulthood.
- It’s clearly not difficult to get your family moving on a nice sunny day, but what do you do if it is raining outside? Utilize some of the same tools your child’s teacher uses in the classroom. Go Noodle (gonoodle.com) is a great site to get your child up and moving. This would also give your child the opportunity to show you some of their favorite “brain breaks” from school.
There is no denying that the older our children get, the more difficult it is to get them away from technology. However, we also can’t diminish the importance of active play. Turning off electronics is good for our children in a multitude of ways; most importantly, it keeps them healthy. Regardless of which strategies you use to encourage your kids to be active throughout the summer, the most important thing is to make it fun. Find activities that your children enjoy, which will help motivate them to stick with it, and don’t be afraid to challenge them to try something new. •
For more information contact the Thibodaux Regional Fitness Center, 985.493.4950.