How to get kids active
- Date: 03 April 2019
- Category: General
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Maybe your child loves sport and is constantly running around, or perhaps you’ve been a bit concerned that they spend too much time on the Xbox or on their phone. However your child likes to spend their time, we have some tips for keeping them active, or encouraging less active children to start to love moving more. Children are naturally energetic and curious, and their bodies and minds are stimulated by all kinds of play. There are so many different ways to include movement in their day!
Australia’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Children state that children between the ages of 5-12 should be getting 60 minutes moderate physical activity per day, but that they would benefit from much more than that too. The 60 minutes or more can be made up in smaller amounts throughout the day.
Here are our tops tips to encourage and help your child to be active:
- Make sure your child is eating well including plenty of vegetables and protein, limited junk food and lots of water throughout the day. Low energy levels can be a result of diet.
- Reduce screen time. The guidelines recommend less than two hours per day, as screen time and inactivity go hand in hand! If you gradually decrease a child’s screen time, it will encourage them to get involved in more active play.
- Give ‘active’ gifts for Christmas and birthdays. It can be great to gift things such as totem tennis, balls, bats, table tennis or a trampoline so that they have new ways of being sporty.
- Join your child up to a sport team or class, but make sure it’s something they will enjoy doing. Not all children want to kick or throw a ball, they might love dancing, gymnastics or singing instead.
- Lead by example and get involved. You could all kick a ball outside, go for walks in your neighbourhood or ride bikes together.
- Plant a garden. Helping vegetables and other plants grow can be a great motivator to get outside into the garden, not to mention spend some quality time together.
- Include more incidental exercise in your day and walk short distances with your child instead of driving.
Remember that children thrive with encouragement. The best way to increase a child’s physical activity is to find what kind of activity makes them happy and help them to do it more often.
YMCA is a proud partner of Premier’s Active April, because we believe that encouraging Victorians to get more exercise every day is a worthy goal. Sign up to Premier’s Active April to track your physical activity together as a family through the month of April. It’s free to sign up and there are lots of offers and prizes, including a Recreation 10 Visit Pass Card to use at your local YMCA centre.