Friday, 21 June 2013

Creative and fun ways to get your kids up and active

I was sent this guest post by Ivy Delfin, because I posted a trampoline photo.

I was intrigued by the videos of "exercise heaven" (my phrase) after I looked at some of the videos about BounceInc.

Why don't somebody bring this to South Africa?

For kids, exercise means playing and being physically active. Kids exercise when they have gym class at school, during recess, at dance class or soccer practice, while riding bikes, or when playing tag. But once they’re at home and on holidays, it can be difficult to get them to leave the couch when video games are enticing.

Active kids enjoy a range of health benefits such as stronger muscles and bones, less chance of becoming overweight, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and a better, healthier outlook on life. There are 4 different types of exercise that kids should focus on. Aerobic activity gets their heart pumping and lungs working harder, it also releases those feel good chemicals! Muscle strengthening obvious works the muscles and gets them working a little harder. Bone strengthening exercises like jumping helps them grow and keep them strong. Finally, stretches make their muscles more flexible, helping them reach and bend and turn better, it also helps to avoid injury. It is important to encourage your kids to get up and get active to keep them healthy and fit, and it feeds their natural curiosity of the world but being out and about.

There are a bunch of ways you can encourage your kids to get active, if they are reluctant you will have to make the activity seem particularly exciting. Play hopscotch with them or practice skip rope. Involve yourself in the activity so they know that they have your full support and attention. You could take them for a day trip out to an area where you can do a light hike together and explore nature, teaching them about the forest at the same time. Have a dance party in their room, fairy lights are affordable and easy to come by and make a great DIY disco. Don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself, they will be glad that you are involved and taking the time to play with them. Get them to put on their favourite songs and get the lights flashing, dancing is a great fun way to get active without even knowing it!

During the holidays especially there are often organizations that offer activities that your children and family can enjoy. One place that is open all year round is BOUNCEinc, they offer a series of trampolines where your kids can jump and play for hours in a fun and safe environment. Jumping is an excellent form or exercise, and something that kids are often very good at but often don’t realize it’s helping them keep fit.

 Play is a really important component of a child’s life, so incorporating as much active play as possible is going to positively impact their outlook on life and create long lasting happy memories.

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