I imagine many eyebrows raised at the suggestion of tiring children out. If they are, then it’s because you are yet to become a parent. It is necessary for your children to feel tired quite simply because they will never settle down to a good night’s rest.
During their spare time, it is imperative that your kids get plenty of exercise. Leaving them to turn into couch potatoes, TV zombies or internet junkies is unhealthy and harmful. Health care experts have cited lack of exercise as one of the reasons why childhood obesity is on the rise.
There are so many easy, creative and fun ways to keep your children occupies, active and energetic. It might mean tiring yourself out a little too, but eventually with time, they will be able to manage without you. You need to lay the foundation for a healthier lifestyle right from the very beginning. This will serve as an example to the child as he or she grows up.
- Cut down on sedentary activities. This is possibly the first decisive but definitely the most difficult step of all. In this day and age, kids have switched from running around outside the house to sitting cooped up indoors with their television sets, computer or video games. There is no harm in these activities so long as they are strictly limited to an hour or two a day (totally).
- It is quite easy for your kids to sit in front of the TV and lose track of time, watching cartoon after cartoon, program after program. By the time bed time arrives and they get off the couch, they feel sluggish but not in the least bit sleepy. Do not allow them to watch TV or play video games just before going to bed. Instead, take them for a quick walk or play a game like hide and seek.
- Engage in fun activities that make them expend energy. After a few hours of exercise, tired children are quieter and more likely to stay out of trouble than ones who are bursting with energy at the end of the day. They are also a good deal hungrier so meals will simply disappear off plates without your goading to finish up. Play outdoor games that involve plenty of running or jumping. Children love playing games like tag, running races and hide ‘n’ seek.
- Enroll them in after school activities. If your kids are the kind to head home after a day at school and crash on the couch, change things around so that they have something better and more interesting to do. If you don’t have the time to play with them after school, sign them up for fun after school activities. Be sure to talk it over with your kids, before signing up and ask them what they would like to do.
- Take them to the park. Walk or cycle to a neighborhood park and allow your children to run free. Play equipment like the jungle gym, slide or ropes provide holistic exercise. Your kids will be climbing, jumping up and down and running. This way they bust that baby fat and build stronger bones and muscles.
- Go swimming as a family. Spend a few hours every week at a swimming pool. Swimming is one of the best ways to stay fit and have fun at the same time. Swimming is beneficial to those suffering from asthma and back pain. If you can manage it, buy an inflatable kiddies’ pool and place it out in your yard. This works just fine for young children, especially if you don’t like the idea of taking them to a public pool. Your kids will enjoy splashing around and very soon, they will be pestering you to fill up the pool rather than switch the TV on.
- Organize little camping trips or short excursions. It can be something as simple as taking them to the zoo, a nature walk, a trip to the lake or a picnic spot where they have plenty of space to run and play.
Tips and Warnings
- The above advice is meant to help children use their storehouse of energy in ways that are healthy and beneficial to them. Do not attempt to exhaust them.
- Always indulge in activities that are age appropriate and safe for your children.
- In case your kids are already lethargic and care very little for physical activity, don’t make it unpleasant by forcing them to play or by passing unkind remarks. Get involved yourself and tempt your kids by first having fun yourself. Gently coax them into joining in.
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