It is important for children to be active on a daily basis in order to ensure healthy growth and development.
Outdoor experts at Craggy Island advise that children who build healthy lifestyle habits at an early age stick to these habits and gain their benefits for the rest of their lives.
Physical activity enables children to manage stress and it also helps to promote:
- A healthier heart;
- Improved confidence;
- Socialising with friends;
- Robust bones, joints, and muscles;
- Improved posture and balance;
- A healthier weight;
- Acquiring and improving new skills while enjoying themselves;
- Healthy growth and development;
- Enhanced focus and concentration at school.
Find out if they want to engage in some teamwork or perform an individual activity, perform their activities with friends or family members or apply to join a skill-based or recreational class.
Parents can support their children and guide them on how to begin and the amount of activity that they require per day. The children should feel motivated and find pleasure in doing their activities. With an activity log, they are able to monitor their progress. It is important to praise and reward the children for every small accomplishment to keep them motivated.
The children should:
- Take water before and after engaging in activities, and they should have water breaks in between their activities;
- Have warm-ups and cool-downs for every activity session;
- Carry sunglasses, a hat, and most importantly, wear suncream;
- Make use of the correct size of protective equipment;
- Begin with activities that suit their current fitness level. Getting ahead of themselves can end up in injury. It’s important to play it safe at all times.
According to Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living for children, three kinds of activities help in promoting healthy growth and development:
Also referred to as aerobic activities, these are activities that mainly target large muscle groups. They lead to increased heart rate, quick breathing, and make one sweat. Endurance activities are essential for healthy heart and lung development.
These types of activities can be very fun, and they don’t need to be competitive. Guide your children in choosing the right activities for them.
- Wall climbing, lacrosse, skiing;
- Basketball, soccer, football, hockey;
- Dodgeball, cycling, playing tag, skipping, jogging, hiking;
- Martial arts, tennis, dancing, skating, swimming;
- Skateboarding, in-line skating, scootering.
Flexibility activities are those that motivate children to stretch, bend, and reach. When children are flexible enough, they are able to perform daily activities without enduring pain or any limitations from their joints and muscles.
- Stretching routines, skipping, yoga;
- Wall climbing, dancing, gymnastics;
- Raking leaves, digging at the beach or in the garden;
- Active play on the playground.
When children work against resistance, they are able to build stronger bones. Sufficient muscle strength enables the children to handle the daily demands of life without stressing their joints and muscles.
Strength building activities develop robust bones, muscles, and proper posture. They also improve their ability to carry and move objects and obstacles and promote healthy growth and development.
Strength Building Activities
- Weight training with tubing, bands, and hand weights, but under supervision or callisthenics with their own body as the resistance;
- Activities in the playground such as scaling poles, climbing ladders, and monkey bars;
- Going upstairs, raking leaves;
- Doing push-ups and situps, gymnastics
- Lifting and carrying items such as groceries, garden waste and rubbish.