Physical activity should be a part of a young child’s daily routine. Not only does it help to reduce obesity and chronic diseases in adulthood, it also helps in other areas like cognitive development, self-esteem and social and moral development.
By helping children develop a positive attitude towards physical activity while they are young, will increase the chance of them continuing to sustain this active lifestyle during adulthood. Just 60 minutes a day of ‘huff and puff’ activity is great for a child.
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Being active helps kids in many ways:
- Strengthens and develops their muscles
- Helps them to develop healthy bones
- They are able to maintain a healthy body weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Helps with increasing blood circulation
- Helps in providing from developing coronary heart disease in the future
- It also helps in reducing the risk of developing diabetes
- Improve concentration and managing anxiety and street
- Develop social skills by meeting new people
- Assist in learning as children at a young age tend to be totally involved in the experience
- Increases the likelihood of staying active in adulthood
- Makes children feel more relaxed, confident and happy
- And it provides a way to express their moods. When they are happy, children tend to twirl, jump or skip. When they are upset, they often stamp their feet or wave their fists.
Before completing any type of physical activity, you should warm up. Stretching activities like reaching for the sky or touching your toes are great for this. These activities can also be repeated at the end of you physical activity to help you cool down.
There are three types of fundamental movement skills that children between the ages of 3 and 5 should learn. These skills are important building blocks for specialized movement activates like dance, sport and gymnastics.
These are movements that help the body transport from one place to another. This includes activities such as crawling, walking, marching, jumping, climbing, and skipping.
Set up an obstacle course outside for your children. They can crawl through tunnels, march from one obstacle to another, then jump a number of times on a mini trampoline or skipping rope before climbing a platform to reach the end.
These are movements it which the body stays in one place while moving on its horizontal or vertical axis. This includes activities such as stretching, bending, pulling twisting, and balancing.
For this you could have a tug of war, do tai chi or yoga, walking on a balance beam or musical statues.
These are movements that involve giving and receiving such as throwing, catching, kicking and striking.
After the first two skills are learnt, then they are ready to move onto the harder manipulative skills.
Ways that you can learn manipulative skills include: throwing a ball into a bucket or bin or playing catch. By setting up a target, either a chalk drawing on the fence or empty plastic bottles in a row, children are able to practice kicking a ball or swing a bat to try and hit the target.
Don’t forget that while you are participating in a physical activity, you still need to be aware of the sun and hydration. You also need to make sure that their feet are protected and the equipment they are playing with is safe.
So what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time to get up, get moving and have some fun!