Top 10 Physical Activity Tips For Parents




As a parent/carer you have an important role in shaping the physical activity attitudes and behavior of your children.  This will help them form healthy habits early on in life and reduce their risk of obesity and cancer later. Here are some tips and advice for encouraging your children to keep active.

1.    It is recommended that children aged 3-5 participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days of the week,   preferably daily.  Toddlers (12-36 months) should accumulate at least 30 minutes

2.    Allow babies time to crawl and move – do not restrict movement for prolonged periods.

3.    Reduce the amount of time they spend on sedentary activities like watching television (no longer than an hour). Studies have found that the more time that children spend watching television, the greater their risk of being overweight

4.    The best way of encouraging your child to be active is to be active yourself. Make Physical Activity part of your family’s daily routine such as designating time for family walks or playing active games together.

5.    Provide opportunities for children to be active by playing with them. Give them active toys and equipment, and take them to places where they can be active

6.    Keep activity fun – it shouldn’t seem like a chore or punishment. For younger children, try fun games like tag or hide-and-seek. Try to associate activity with having fun from an early age

7.    Encourage children to try new activities and offer positive reinforcement for activities that your child tries.  Different sports require different combinations of skills. Encourage ball games to develop their hand/eye co-ordination or running, balancing and jumping activities to develop their motor skills

8.    Children need to succeed. Ensure the activity is age appropriate and the equipment is suitable e.g. if a child has difficulty catching, use a scarf or a large slower moving ball

9.    Exercising regularly will not only improve physical and mental wellbeing but also help to ease anxiety, tension and stress. Keeping active has other health benefits such as feeling better, sleeping better, promoting self esteem etc.

10.    Some exercise is better than none - Each activity you and your children participate in regularly will count towards you becoming more fit and healthy