Whether you’re an adult or a child, it’s important to maintain an active lifestyle. Exercise helps us release the stress and tension that we face in our daily lives. An active lifestyle has many benefits such as improving both your physical and mental health, alleviating the symptoms of certain mental illnesses, and furthering mental development. Sports alone increase focus, reduce behavioral problems, and improve cognitive functions.
Because their brains are not fully developed, most preschoolers haven’t fully experienced and lack an understanding of their emotional development. Children naturally have a lot of energy and because they’re at an age when they want to take advantage of moving around, they can sometimes be harder to control. As a result, most children act out due to boredom, so it’s best to redirect that animosity towards being more active.
Here are 4 tips to establish a more active lifestyle with your children!
1. Prepare healthy snacks and meals.
An active lifestyle is more beneficial when it is combined with the proper nutrition. A balanced diet is key to a child’s development because it provides children with the nutrients, they need to grow.
Incorporate more fruits and veggies into your child’s diet. Starting these lifestyle habits earlier in life helps set the tone for healthy habits as an adult. It’s also important as parents that we model the right behavior and make smart food choices, because children learn by watching us. However, don’t completely throw away the unhealthy snacks; allow your child to have one every now and then as a special treat.
2. An ample amount of sleep.
The amount of sleep a child gets is crucial to their daily routine. Sleep is an important part of being active, just as much as diet and exercise are. Toddlers should be getting no less than 10-13 hours of sleep a day. Children who get the correct amount of sleep for their age have a lower risk of health problems. Sleep improves heart health, promotes growth, helps the body maintain a healthy weight, and supports the immune system by protecting it against germs.
3. Participate in sports.
The benefits of sports are plentiful. Sports provide children with regular exercise, builds their self-esteem, and makes them better communicators. Sports also have many different rules, which can greatly help foster a sense of discipline because they teach children time management and respect for others. Believe it or not, sports are also a great way to foster creativity in your child. It’s no surprise that most students who are enrolled in sports have been reported to perform better academically than those who aren’t.
4. Plan more outdoor outings than indoors.
The generation your child is in is heavily attached to technology, causing them to be more sedentary than past generations. Instead of planning movie nights or letting your child spend all of their time on tablets, make it a priority to plan mores trips to the beach or the local park! Children love to engage in physical activity where they’re free to run around, dig up the ground, ride a bicycle and much more!
At such a developmental stage in their lives, it’s crucial for your child to be active and also be getting as much sunlight as they can. Keep in mind that we need the sun to get vitamin D, which helps our bone development and protects our immune system.
An Active Lifestyle at Parker-Chase
At Parker-Chase Preschool, we prioritize time outside of the classroom just as we do indoors because we want our students to be as active as they can be. We believe unstructured time outdoors can really be beneficial to a child’s learning and development. We also make sure that our students are properly fed and get many of the nutrients they need through our chef-prepared meals.