According to the CDC (2004), 62% of children engaging in vigorous physical activity, such as basketball, football, running, or swimming, at least 20 minutes three or more days a week. Only 24% of children participate in moderate physical activity such as walking or bike riding. Considering that childhood physical activity habits into adulthood, and exercise tends to decrease during adolescence, it is important for parents to teach their children to be physically active -. Surprisingly, this should start at birth
When your baby’s umbilical cord falls off, it’s time to start incorporating daily physical activity in a child’s life. Start putting your baby on her stomach after waking up, changing him, and feedings. These stomach-time session should always be supervised and last about 5-10 minutes. Babies will let you know when it has had enough. Please note that during the night the infant should be placed on the back. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that in the first year of life, infants sleep on their backs with a pacifier in his mouth to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Syndrome (SIDS).
Older children can “exercise” by practicing motor skills, such as grabbing items (4 months) and their reach (6 months), pull themselves up to standing, driving, crawling (9 months), and walking and running. Communicate with your child. Show interest in its activities and set up a good example by playing with her.
Children younger than 2 years old should not watch television. Ideally, those who are over age 2 should not watch something rather than 1-2 hours of carefully selected programs would be acceptable for anyone older than 2 years.
TV should never be used as a “babysitter” and the child should not have a TV in their room. If she does, over time, you will lose control of what and how much TV your child watches. Having a TV in the bedroom will promote sedentary behavior of the child and promote overweight. A television should be located in a central location so that the whole family can browse selected programs together. This also applies to computer and video games.
Our society is not designed to promote physical activity, especially with the popularity of TV and video games. Therefore, we should take control and incorporate it into our daily lives. Consider these tips:
1. Schedule daily family walk. If it’s hard to get motivated, get a dog or borrow one from a neighbor.
2. Assign children age-appropriate chores that require physical activity, yard work (leaf raking, snow Shoveling) and housework (vacuuming). Do not just sit by and watch, but to participate yourself!
3. Encourage your child to ride a bike or roller blade every day for at least 30 minutes (the helmet is a must!)
4. When going to the store, car as far away as possible. The extra walk is worth it.
5. Support the involvement of children in group sports.
6. Schedule fun activities weekend like taking a hike in the woods, going camping, going on a picnic in the park, or badminton tournament in your backyard.
7. Some children are not “sports” brand. Creativity is a great brain workout, but we can not forget to exercise our bodies. Have a creative child design and build kites fly. Have a child who loves to help you cook? Have them plant a herb garden.
8. Try more productive activities like yoga, indoor rock climbing, etc.
9. Play the game! Twister, Duck Duck Goose, Red Rover, or Tag are great physical games.
10. If you will let your child play video games, Nintendo Wii incorporate physical activity as well. But do not forget to limit your child’s time on the Wii as well. Tour the garden with fresh air and sunshine will not only get you moving, but it will increase your energy and mood as well.