An estimated 4 out of 5 children in Australia don’t get the daily 60 minutes of physical activity that is recommended for good health. However, with the right healthy practices, you can beat this trend and help set your child up for success. Check out these tips from Dr. Kapil Parakh, MD, Fitbit Medical Lead.
Start or end the day with physical activity
The best way to ensure your children are physically active is by incorporating it into their daily routine. It doesn’t need to be an overwhelming process, it can be as simple as starting or ending the day with physical activity like walking to school, an after-school bike ride or even playing in the backyard. Not only does this have long term health benefits, in the short term it can boost mood and improve sleep.
Be their biggest fan
Cheer them on and make them feel special when you’re watching or playing with them. This positive reinforcement can help children feel encouraged to continue participating in activities and inspired to try others.
If your children like to challenge themselves, consider getting them a Fitbit Ace 3 (ages 6+) so they can track their steps and active minutes. The positive reinforcement that on-device celebrations and in-app virtual badges provide can help create healthy habits and motivation.
At Women Love Tech, we also love the activity trackers for adults, such as the Fitbit Charge 5, because it allows you to join your child on their fitness journey. You can track steps and active minutes alongside your child so that you can keep motivated together! The Charge 5 also has more advanced features that come in handy, such as call and text notifications and an EDA sensor for stress management.
Help them learn a new sport
Get them to play sports that are popular in your area. They’ll pick up on the enthusiasm of friends and neighbors and get excited about the sport. Not only is it a great way for children to get regular physical activity that they are excited about, they’ll make new friends and learn team building skills too.
Remember though, it’s important you not to put pressure on your children or criticise their performance – just offer support and encouragement no matter how skilled they are. The aim is for them to be active, not a superstar. Think of the long game – supportive encouragement helps build lifelong habits.
Don’t make it feel like a chore
Make it fun! Children hate chores, and it’s easy for physical activity to feel like one if you’re too strict or make them feel forced. A good way to get them moving without feeling pressured is to create fun challenges – they won’t even know they’re exercising, they’ll think they are playing a game.
By instilling a joy for physical activity, you’ll give them a gift that keeps on giving over the course of their lifetime.
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