With summer well underway and the media always prompting parents to do more to combat the growing epidemic of childhood obesity, we explore how parents everywhere can help their children get the physical exercise they need, whatever their age. And thereâ€™s even an opportunity to be a bit of a big kid yourself!
The Benefits of an Active Childhood
As you will have experienced yourself, regular physical exercise certainly has its plus points and encouraging activity for just an hour or so a day in the early years of your childâ€™s life can ensure a happy and healthy adult with both the physical, mental and emotional strength to succeed in all areas of their lives.
Regular physical exercise ensures that your child maintains a healthy weight as well as encouraging the development of strong muscles and bones. In addition to the physical benefits, children who exercise regularly benefit from improved self-confidence, which will certainly come in handy during their teenage years and beyond. As well as the mental and physical advantages of leading an active life, you can also discover the simpler things in life and there are many activities that can be enjoyed as a family, meaning more quality time and lots of fun all round.
Recommended Activity Levels for All the Family
There are certain guidelines on how much exercise certain age groups should get on a daily and weekly basis. Children aged 5 years and under should do at least 3 hours of exercise every day, which may sound like a lot but those visits to the park and learning how to ride a bike soon add up, and instil the skills and values that children at this early stage can take into adult life. Young people on the other hand, aged between 5 and 18 years of age, should be aiming for 60 minutes of exercise per day, which is easily accomplished during school hours but should also be encouraged outside of school with activities for the whole family.
It is recommended that adults aged 19 and over and older people aged 65 years and over should partake in 2 and a half hours of exercise every week, so aim to satisfy family members of all ages by scheduling in regular activities.
7 Family-Friendly Activities for an Active Childhood
The following activities can be enjoyed by children of all ages and abilities, why not make it your mission as a family to complete a least one of these activities every week over the summer months? Try out these 7 activities and become one step closer to an active family lifeâ€¦
- Cycle Yourself Fit: Cycling is an excellent activity that all the family can enjoy and exploring the many cycle paths and routes in your local area can make a great and interactive day out, which is just what you need to beat boredom during the summer holidays. For younger children, cycling can allow them to discover more about the natural world around them as well as being a fun way to get about!
- Family Fun Run: Taking part in a family-friendly fun run or charity event is also a great way to get fit and stay fit. Not only will completing the event itself be an exciting bonding experience, the training leading up to the event will also increase camaraderie.
- Letâ€™s Go Fly a Kite: Winder summers may not be as pleasant as sunny climates but they do have their upsides. Flying a kite is an activity that sticks in the memory of many children, so take advantage of the blustery weather.
- DIY Den: Getting active doesnâ€™t just mean running or cycling, you can also develop your own and your childâ€™s DIY skills by building a den or a tree house over summer. Depending on your skills, you can create a fun space that all the family can enjoy for summers to come.
- Join a Sports or Activity Club: During term time, weekends and the school holidays, there will be a variety of sport or activity classes available to suit your childâ€™s interests and your budget. Do a bit of research about what is available in your area and support your child in their newfound hobby.
- Park Life: There are so many beautiful parks and green spaces across the country so take advantage of this free and fun activity. Even parks with limited facilities can provide the perfect space to climb trees, roller skate, cycle, throw a Frisbee or play football so enjoy them during the summer weather.
- Holiday the Active Way:Â Taking your new active lifestyle on your holidays is a great way to continue getting the physical exercise you need as a family. There are a number of active holiday destinations and packages, all of which give you the opportunity to experience something new!
This post was written by County Nannies, this nanny recruitment agency helps parents with children of all ages to make the key decisions they need to support their family with over 14 years of experience working with nannies and au pairs.Â