There has been a lot of talk over the past few years about getting kids into sports, eating healthily and generally moving more. Once they are at school they will have mandatory PE lessons at least once a week, and more in primary school, but it is all too easy, especially in the winter months, to spend time at home in the warm doing minimal physical activity. The NHS has been running the change for life campaign with the hope of changing these bad habits and getting kids out and about and excited about sport and health, and there are plenty of things you can do to help get your children moving. Here are a few tips for evenings, weekends and school holidays that may help.
There are tons of out of school clubs and activities for kids, and these can be a great way to introduce them to a new sport or hobby. Contact your local leisure centre or ask the school what clubs they run and speak to your child about whether any of them are of interest. Sports clubs outside of school are also a fab way of making new friends and getting into good exercise habits that can last a lifetime. You don’t have to splash out on expensive kit for sports, at least not initially. Most sports can be done in shorts, a tee-shirt, and trainers, with the exception of swimming. Trainers can be bought cheaply from the range of school shoes for girls from George, and they have a good boys selection too. Don’t be fooled into buying designer labels, your kids will grow out of them before they have been used long enough to justify the cost. Sports clubs can be expensive, so try one at a time to see which your child likes best and will stick at, rather than filling every evening and weekend with different activities.
A fab, and free way to get your children active is to go on walks as a family. If you have a dog then take the kids out with you on your daily walk, it will get them into good animal care habits as well as helping to keep them moving. Fresh air and exploration is great for little minds and bodies, and a walk at the weekend as a family will help you to bond and blow the cobwebs away. Go online to find nearby National Trust centres, or local parks and areas of natural beauty to take your kids to. Combine a walk with some learning, and spot wildlife and plants as well as any history the area has to offer.
During the holidays kids aren’t doing their usual PE sessions or outdoor play so it is especially important to get them involved in some physical activity. If you work, or want to give them something extra and fun to do, then find out about local holiday clubs and activities that they can join in with over this period. There are often week-long, or one day courses, in certain sports like football or swimming, which give kids the chance to get involved with sport at the same time as interacting with other kids during the holidays.
The habits you learn as children stay with you well into your adult life. Teaching your children to enjoy exercise and maintain a good activity level is one of the best things you can do as a parent, and they will have great fun doing it too!