One advantage to having your children play sports is that you know they will be getting the exercise they need to strengthen and develop their bodies. It's a built in perk, along with the fun life lessons and friendships that come with being on a sports team. However, there are tons of fun ways for your kids to stay fit outside of sports. And it’s important that they do exercise. After all, there are undisputed benefits that come from exercise like stronger muscles, greater endurance, and bones that are denser and have greater mineral content.
Expert opinions on a child's daily exercise needs range from 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day. Scientific research shows that short periods of physical activity--even as little as 10 minutes at a time--performed throughout the day are just as good as longer periods of activity. This means kids can accumulate their 60 minutes in shorter, more achievable chunks of time. For example, they can do 30 minutes of walking, 10 minutes of bike riding and 20 minutes of active playing such as jumping rope or playing tag.
That’s great news since it means there are no limits to the combination of physical activities a child can choose to stay healthy. And if you allow your child to lead the way in the types of activities he wants to do, chances are he will not only exercise, but he’ll enjoy it, too.
But what about those times when your child is tired of the same old things he’s been doing to stay active? Why not post this list of ideas in the kitchen where he can choose a new activity?
Janis Meredith writes Jbmthinks, a blog on sports parenting and youth sports. After being a coach's wife for 27 years and a sports parent for 17, she sees issues from both sides of the bench.