It is recommended that children aged 3-5 participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days of the week and up to several times a day. For children aged 5-16, it is recommended they participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.
With the rise of technology, it's all too easy for young people to become sedentary and spend hours on their phones or gaming consoles. However, there are plenty of ways to find a balance and keep kids active during half term. In this blog, we'll explore some top tips and advice to keep young people active and entertained.
- Reduce the amount of time young people spend on sedentary activities like watching television (aim for no longer than an hour). Studies have found that the more time children spend watching television, the greater their risk of being overweight.
- The best way of encouraging your child to be active is to be active yourself. Role model behaviours by showing it is a priority in your life.
- Provide opportunities for children to be active by playing with them. Make physical activity part of your family’s daily routine. Schedule in designated time for family walks or playing active games together. Give them active toys and equipment and take them to places where they can be active like a park or leisure centre.
- 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.
- 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.
- Children need to succeed. Ensure you provide positive reinforcement when they choose a healthy snack, ask to be active in and around the home and use physical activity as a reward.
- 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 and promoting happiness.
- Some exercise is better than none - Each activity you and your children participate in regularly will count towards you becoming more fit and healthy!
- Break those 60 active minutes down into bite sized chunks across the day. You don't have to cram your daily activity into a one hour time block, why not try breaking it down into 6x 10 minute boosts across the day?
- Visit our online family hub for free ideas on new activities to try
By incorporating these top tips into activities over your half-term schedule, you'll not only be keeping your kids active but also helping them to develop healthy habits that they can carry with them into adulthood.