Get Your Child Up and Going



Sports and physical activity should be an integral part of a child’s daily routine, just like eating and sleeping. Such an approach would likely provide children with the holistic upbringing that parents strive for.


Encourage your child to be active throughout the day. He should aim for at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, on five or more days a week. Moderate intensity physical activity refers to an activity that causes a slight increase in breathing and heart rate.


Get your child to start slowly if he has not been physically active. The following are examples of moderate intensity activities:

- Leisure swimming

- Brisk walking

- Dancing

- Table-tennis 


Benefits of staying active

Staying active:

- Tones muscles

- Builds strong bones

- Helps maintain healthy weight

- Makes your child feel more energetic

- Relieves stress


Some studies also indicate that engaging in outdoor activities can help prevent myopia.


Make physical activity part of your child’s daily life

The following are examples of physical activity that you can incorporate in your child’s daily life:

- Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator

- Take a walk around the neighbourhood together after dinner

- Do light exercises like sit-ups and walking on-the-spot while watching TV

- Involve your child in household chores like mopping and sweeping, or washing the car

- Encourage your child to walk to school, or get off one bus-stop earlier and walk the rest of the way


Tips when introducing sport to your child

Make physical activity fun and exercise the following tips when introducing sport to your child.


- Ask your child what physical activities he likes to do and then help him do it

This will probably work better than imposing the sport on your child. Encourage your child to also take part in out-of-school physical activity lessons (e.g. martial arts, dance, etc).


- Be a role model

Show your child that physical activity is important by enthusiastically participating in it with him.


- Encourage your child to participate in team sports

Provide opportunities to play in team sports. Take time to work through social issues, not just the technical aspect of the game, to hone your child’s social skills.


- Include sports as one of the activities when you plan family events for the weekend

Remember to balance physical activity and sport with other leisure activities (e.g. watching television or playing computer games). Organise family activities outdoors – play ball games, frisbee, cycling, etc.


- Select “toys” or gifts that promote physical activity

Purchase “toys” or gifts that get your child moving. “Toys” or gifts like a ball, jump rope and a pair of in-line skates can provide a child with many hours of fun.


Exercise safely

While exercise is an important part of a child’s growth and development, children tend to forget about exercising safely. Instead of deterring your child from exercising, teach him to observe some safety issues and ensure adult supervision when necessary.


To avoid injuries while exercising, here are some simple tips to follow:

- Put on suitable clothes and shoes when exercising

- Exercise before meals or at least 2 hours after meals

- Warm up and cool down before and after exercise

- Avoid exercising when unwell or soon after recovery from an illness

- Stop immediately if you feel any pain, breathlessness or giddiness

- Avoid exercising outdoors during the hottest time of the day

- Wear protective gear such as helmet, knee and elbow guards for activities like roller-blading

- Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise


Article Source: HOP Portal, Health Promotion Board 


Article url : http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/508



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