Help child to grad­u­ally get enough ex­er­cise

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Parenting -

CHIL­DREN take their cues from mom and dad, so it only makes sense to par­tic­i­pate with them when teach­ing them the mer­its of ex­er­cise. Couch po­tato kids are a real con­cern. The Col­lege of New Jer­sey ex­er­cise sci­ence pro­fes­sor Avery Faigen­baum de­fined the term ex­er­cise-deficit dis­or­der – or EDD – to draw at­ten­tion to our chil­dren’s short­fall when it comes to meet­ing mod­er­ate-to-vig­or­ous phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity rec­om­men­da­tions of at least 60 min­utes a day.

And ex­perts warn that the un­healthy ef­fects of EDD will ex­tend into adult­hood, caus­ing prob­lems like high blood pres­sure, obe­sity and di­a­betes, and that it’s time to think of ex­er­cise as ill­ness preven­tion. The se­cret to get­ting kids mo­ti­vated is the same as it is for adults: Make ex­er­cise fun. One way to do that is by en­gag­ing kids in ac­tiv­ity bites, small chunks of play that add up to bet­ter health with­out seem­ing like a chore. Here are some ideas to get your fam­ily started.

In your back­yard or a nearby park, set up re­lay races or an ob­sta­cle course and in­vite neigh­bour­hood fam­i­lies to join. For an ac­tiv­ity that can be done any­where, blow up some bal­loons and make a game of keep­ing them all up in the air. You can also do this with ex­er­cise balls or even beach balls, no mat­ter what the sea­son.

Take a page from your own child­hood play­book and share the fun of hula hoops and toss­ing a Fris­bee. Even an ac­tiv­ity like draw­ing with side­walk chalk gets kids out of the house and away from their elec­tronic de­vices. Turn sched­ul­ing ex­er­cise into a fun pro­ject by hav­ing your kids cre­ate an ac­tiv­ity cal­en­dar and check off each “bite” as it’s com­pleted. Post the cal­en­dar on the fridge along with snap­shots of their best chalk art­work, for in­stance, for mo­ti­va­tion.

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