Unfortunately, many preschool kids and toddlers today spend a great deal of time plopped down in front of the television. Not only does this frequent inactivity disallow them to practice their evolving motor skills, but it can potentially make them think that a sedentary lifestyle is normal. On the other hand, making physical activity a well-established habit will serve them throughout their lives.
By the time a child reaches age 4 or 5, their primary physical skills including jumping, running, throwing, and kicking are essentially developed. Even in child care, younger children are constantly refining these basic skills and continue to learn more difficult ones every day.
The easiest way for children to be more physically active is to have fun while they're doing it. Normally, preschoolers and toddlers should ideally be playing several times throughout the day. As their parent, it's your job to encourage them to do so.
Here are five ways that both you and your child can stay active while having a great time along the way.
What child doesn't love going to the park? It's a wide open space with fun equipment that incites their endless imagination. Most children love swinging, playing on the monkey bars, going down the slide, or playing tag. And, just because you're older doesn't mean you can't enjoy all those things with them as well. Pushing your child on a swing or playing hide-and-seek is good physical fitness that both parents and children can enjoy together.
When a young child visits a museum, they can see, hear, and feel new things that will teach them many new and interesting concepts that they've never experienced before. Also, it's a great way to spend the day physically walking and therefore increasing the fitness level of everyone who's attending - including parents.
Music brings out the "kid" in everybody. Pick one night a week and hold a disco night where everyone in the house gets off the sofa and moves to their favorite music. One or two hours of continuous dancing is an excellent way to enhance cardiovascular health as well as have loads of funs.
Swimming is a great way to energize the body while playing in water. Most children are super excited about playing games in the pool or actually swimming. In fact, research illustrates that swimming is one of the best physical activities to pursue no matter what your age. It's an easy way to burn a high amount of calories while also letting your child burn off some of their stored-up energy as well.
Going for a family walk just before or after dinner around the neighborhood will strengthen the bond between each family member, especially after dinner during a peaceful sunset. Many parents love to take an evening walk with their kids to not only burn off calories, but to show them that taking a walk every day is good for them. To make it more interesting and fun, have your toddler or young child spot different things in your neighbors' yards that they can easily identify, such as a cat or their favorite flower.
Exercising doesn't even have to be planned. Some of the best times a family will ever have are doing things spontaneously. Also, if your children see that you're normally physically active, chances are they'll be active throughout their lives as well and enjoy better health as a result.
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