Are your kids reaching their required 60 minutes of exercise per day? Only 7% of 5-11 year olds are, according to Active Healthy Kids Canada. Instead of stressing out with the thought of 1-hour chunks of straight activity every day, think of how you can supplement your existing routine with short breaks of exercise which will benefit your child’s growing body and mind.
How to incorporate small exercise breaks into your child’s day:
If you live a short distance from your school or daycare, walk or bike instead of using the car. You may have to wake up a few minutes earlier to account for the extra commute time.
If you must drive, try parking farther away than usual. You can use this time for a brisk walk as well as the opportunity to give your child undivided attention before you separate for the day.
Encourage your child to be physically active when time permits at school or daycare. Tell them how fun it is to play tag with their friends, or any other game that gets them moving.
Children enjoy friendly competition. Measure their time running from point A to Point B and consider that to be their record. Every day encourage them to beat their record and run even faster than the previous day. They will feel a sense of accomplishment and motivation every time they beat their own record.
Instead of watching TV together on the weekends, find an outdoor activity that you can do together. Bike rides, games of catch, even walks to the grocery store all count as physical activity.
Children like to have manageable responsibilities. Equip them with a little rake so they can help you clear up leaves in the fall and a child-sized shovel to help you with the snow in the winter. Not only is this great exercise but you get some help around the house as well.