"I'm so bored!" How often do we as parents listen to this familiar wailing from our kids? And I guess that, as in my home, you hear it more often during the very long summer holiday. Well, we've got a few tips on how change that refrain to "Let's Go and Have some Fun!" and inspire you and your kids to get active -- and stay active -- all through the summer holidays. And it doesn’t need to tax your imagination or your budget.
Anyone who's seen kids on a playground knows that most kids are naturally physically active and love to move around. We just need to remind them and ourselves of this as being active has the added benefit of being healthy for the whole family. Besides, having adventures and fun together as a family can help lead kids to a lifetime of being active.
Benefits of Being Active
We all want our kids to be healthy, academically motivated, alert, and successful. Our kids can be all of this and more. When kids (and us as parents) are active and moving around, our bodies (and ours) can do the things we want and need them to do and for longer periods of time. Why? Because regular exercise is responsible for a whole lot of benefits in addition to those mentioned above:
helps to maintain a healthy weight
decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
they will have stronger muscles and bones
improves sleep and mental health
a positive outlook on life
and physical competence boosts confidence and self-esteem at every age
Things to consider
Each day, 8- to 18-year olds spend an average of:
4 hours watching TV and movies
1 hour on the computer
1 hour playing video games
Lead by example
Set a positive example by leading an active lifestyle yourself. Be safe! Always provide protective equipment such as helmets, wrist pads or knee pads and ensure that activity is age-appropriate.
Let your kids help choose what to do. Children are more likely to join in if they're involved in picking the activity. Remember, the idea is to have fun, keep moving, and spend time together.
- Go outside. Play Frisbee, rugby or cricket in the garden, in the park, or on the beach. Go trampolining. Teach them some of your favourite outside games when you were a kid.
- Let them help you build a den or treehouse.
- Do an activity challenge together, such as training for a fun run or charity walk. See the parkrun website for free weekly 5K runs near you.
- Fly a kite. Let the make a kite from scratch with your guidance and let fly!
- Walk or cycle together as often as possible. And remember the dog is part of the family and need to have fun too!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need? https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adding-pa/activities-children.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Making Physical Activity a Part of a Child’s Life https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adding-pa/activities-children.html
Health Maintenance in School-aged Children: Part II. Counseling Recommendations https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0315/p689.html
This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy. This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.