By now, you probably know of the serious health problems associated with too much sitting, and a sedentary lifestyle. Not surprisingly, the same can be said for your kids. That’s why it’s important for your kids to get outside and get active!
“Children who stand up or move around during bouts of sedentary time tend to be healthier than those who sit still for longer periods,” claims a study published in the journal PLoS One by Travis Saunders, Ph.D. Using a handful of devices like accelerometers, researchers were able to track the levels of activity in about 500 children in a week long span. They found that “children who took short breaks [to engage in physical activities] during sedentary activities like watching TV or using the computer had lower body mass indexes and cardiometabolic risks compared to kids who didn’t take breaks.”
In short, your kids are at risk of developing weight related issues like cardiovascular disease, and diabetes when they sit still too often.“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. That increase in insulin could lead to too-high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as obesity and diabetes,” says Saunders.
Now more than ever is the time to instill the idea of living an active lifestyle in your kids mind! If they’re motivated to be active at a young age, they’re more likely to maintain that mindset and avoid serious health issues associated with sedentary lifestyles.
If you’re curious to learn new and effective ways to get your children motivated, you’ve come to the right place! Check out our list of ways to get you kids off the couch:
1. Limit screentime
Let’s face it, we, as a society, have become infatuated with screens. TV, cellphones, computers, tablets…the list goes on. While it’s a bit unrealistic to say you’ll prohibit the use and access of all screens in your house, a more pragmatic way to get you kids off of these devices is to limit screentime at home.
Many leading pediatricians recommend that children should be limited to only two hours of TV a day. With that plan in action, they’ll be off of the couch and doing something more productive.
Find out more great ways to promote an active lifestyle by clicking next!
2. Outdoor playtime
It’s one thing to make them stop watching television, but you have to provide them with something to do afterwards. Try designating outdoor time for your kids everyday. Preferably, for an hour or longer. There are tons of physically engaging activities that kids can try when playing outside. Fun outdoor activities and games can encourage them to actively play more often!
3. Encourage them to play with friends
When kids play by themselves, they’ll tend to lose focus or interest and want to return to a more sedentary activity. Encourage your kids to invite friends over, to go to their friend’s house, or even go to a park or a playground. Everything is more fun with a group of friends…especially playtime! Your kids will be getting great exercise and will be strengthening their relationships with peers.
4. Age appropriate activities
What’s fun for a 6-year-old won’t necessarily be fun for a 10-year-old. That’s why it’s important to offer activities and games that are age appropriate for your children. Try catering to their interests and experimenting with ways to keep them active that are fit for someone of their age group. The overall idea is to keep things fun! Don’t make playtime boring for them.
5. Promote other types of games/activities
Getting the brain pumping and encouraging mental activity is just as important as 60 minutes of physical activity! Try mixing it up every now and then and incorporating board games, coloring, or finger painting. Anything that is mentally stimulating will do just fine. “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.
There are tons of benefits for children to lead an active lifestyle! Playing and engaging in physical activity for 60 minutes or more a day can help promote strong bones and muscles, healthy weight, better sleep, a positive attitude, and decreased risks for heart problems and diabetes. Use these 5 awesome motivational tips on your kids and help them to be happy, active and healthy!
READ: 5 Fun and easy pregnancy exercises recommended by healthcare professionals
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