Did you know nearly a third of children aged 2-15 are overweight or obese? Exercise and physical activity are vital for a child’s development and sets the foundation for a healthy and active life.
For some children exercise and being active might not be as enjoyable or come as naturally as it does for others. 1Life has teamed up with Les Mills to offer some help and advice for getting your young ones moving more.
- Make it fun – exercise shouldn’t be a chore. Think about all the things your child or children love to do and think about how you can introduce physical activity into this. For example, if you have a child who loves animals see if you can go on a wildlife hunt in the great outdoors or if they are mad about music create a mini disco in your living room and spend the afternoon dancing to their favourite beats.
- Mix it up – look to do different activities on different days – from swimming to bike riding, to playing hide and seek or going to the play park – there are so many ways you and your family can enjoy exercise; it’s just about thinking outside the box.
- Track progress – little and often will have a big impact on the health and wellbeing of your family. Look to track the progress you make, such as timing a run or a walk one month and then again, the next. Have you improved the time?
- Reward and recognise effort – children love to get feedback and praise. Recognise your children when they have done well; even if they have just participated in sport or physical activity. The feel-good hormones they get from the exercise and your words of encouragement will reinforce the positive emotions around movement.
- Pass over the control to your children – Children love responsibility and being in the driving seat; so why not let them design the weekly (or monthly) exercise plan. Ensure they understand what they need to do and make sure they are responsible for everyone in the family participating.
- Set goals – goals are great for us all but children especially. Why not set some goals for this new health programme – maybe you want to get to a point where you can run a family park run together or there’s a bike ride you want to complete. If your children know they are working towards something it should focus the mind and encourage frequent participation
- Get friends involved – friendships are important to us all, but children respond more than anyone to them. Look to invite their friends when you exercise - it’s harder for your little ones to back out if they know their friends will be there.
- Take ownership – you need to be committed to this plan and ensure it’s carried out. It can be all too easy to think ‘it’s a bit cold today’ or ‘I can’t be bothered’ but for the sake of your children it’s important you’re positive and the enabler in all of this.
- Embrace trends – don’t let trends derail your intentions. Look at what trends are affecting your children’s lives and use them in your activity times. For example, if fidget spinners are popular in your household why not see if they can spin whilst they dance?
Les Mills’ BORN TO MOVE™ classes take the effort out of activity by making it fun. Combining motivating and scientifically proven mix of age-appropriate movement with music, these classes captivate toddlers through to teens and fuel a life long love of physical activity. And now BORN TO MOVE™ is available in your own home FREE OF CHARGE. Simply click BORN TO MOVE® video classes to join millions of other families using Les Mills in their own homes.