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Fun and Wonderful Ways to Educate Kids About Exercise

Teaching children about fitness is one of the things that parents do to get kids off to a good start. This goes on the list of good-child check-ups

Fun and Wonderful Ways to Educate Kids About Exercise

Teaching children about fitness is one of the things that parents do to get kids off to a good start. This goes on the list of good-child check-ups, eating nutritious meals, reading together, and liberally giving embraces, kisses, and encouragement. The first step is to help the little ones transform the physical activity into a regular occurrence, now and as they develop.

"Movement and exercise for children should be just as much a routine as brushing teeth every day — but more enjoyable!" says Rae Pica, a specialist in movement education and author of A Running Start: How to Play, Physical Activity and Free Time Develop a Successful Baby.

What is it important to teach children about exercise?

"Kids were born to run," says Pica, adding that movement helps children improve not just their bodies, but also their minds, cognitive abilities, and social skills. "It not only affects physical development but also cognitive, social, and emotional growth — the whole child."

Early childhood is also the perfect time to set up healthy habits so that children try and enjoy exercise rather than resist it. And beginning early of course means early reaping the rewards! "Moderate to moderate physical activity feeds water, glucose, and oxygen to the brain, which we all need for optimum efficiency," Pica says. "And it's going to get those endorphins going, and we're feeling better too, for parents and kids alike."

How to get your Family Motivated?

Children may be "born to run," but if they don't see their parents prioritizing exercise, they'll easily transform from jumping beans to couch potatoes.

"What's important in children's lives to important adults is important to them," Pica says. Therefore we grown-ups must be strong role models. Kids pay attention (even though it seems they never hear us ask them to pick up their toys!). So be sure to see, and enjoy, parents who are exercising.

In addition to being a good role model, it is up to you to encourage fitness to children by ensuring they have time, energy, and opportunities to travel and play. It is as simple as this, and as hard as that.

If you're overwhelmed by living in an urban environment or an extreme climate, you may need to navigate those spaces and resources more creatively. And by time, we 're all challenged — who can fit in whatever we want and need to do? That is why it helps to turn exercise into a habit. We 're all taking time to brush those teeth; we all need to make time for exercise.

Why Play Together and Apart?

Playing with your kids gives them a playmate, shows you think the play is valuable, and also provides an opportunity to run. Yet children too can, and should, play independently.
"If children play alone they can learn a lot: problem-solving, dispute resolution, imaginative self-expression," Pica says.

3 Active Family Games for Fun

Pica recommends the following 3 games to make family fun simple and enjoyable. Parents should act as facilitators and cheerleaders, or join in — whatever mood you 're all in today.
  1. Going on, March! Have a parade (in or out) around the property. Use toy musical instruments or pots, pans, plastic cups, and wooden spoons to equip all. Take turns to take the lead, and set the pace. Create moves and cheers for the dumb march.
  2. Forever Blowing Bubbles: You know the laws that relate to this. One individual is blowing the bubbles and the rest are chasing them!
  3. Come Dancing: Bring your favorite tunes down and make a boogie.
Fun and Wonderful Ways to Educate Kids About Exercise

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YourFitnessRink - Fitness and Health Matters: Fun and Wonderful Ways to Educate Kids About Exercise
Fun and Wonderful Ways to Educate Kids About Exercise
Teaching children about fitness is one of the things that parents do to get kids off to a good start. This goes on the list of good-child check-ups
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