Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being. Regular physical activity can help manage weight and prevent overweight and obesity, which is linked to many health conditions. In fact, life insurance for overweight individuals can be more costly and be more difficult to obtain.
Another benefit of regular physical activity is staying energized and keeping up with your active child or children. You are better able to play with them, get up and down from the floor, practice sports with them, and participate in physical activity as a family.
Active children tend to have a lower risk of obesity and are better able to maintain healthy body weight. They have stronger bones, muscles, joints, and better heart health. Additionally, children who are active when they are younger tend to stay active as they get older.
You are instilling a lifetime of physical habits from a young age by being an example of being active with your children.
Other benefits of physical activity for children include better sleep, improved coordination, improved motor skills, enhanced academic performance, improved self-esteem, better mood, and improved interpersonal skills.
It can be challenging to find time to be active, especially when children are young and our lives are so busy. One option is to involve your children in your physical activity habits.
Being active with your daughter or daughters can improve their health and help you have a better relationship and create quality one-on-one time with each other. Here are some tips to help you stay active with your daughter no matter what age she is.
Be a Role Model
Physical activity is one important healthy habit that all parents can teach their children. It will be easier to encourage all children to participate in physical activity if you start at a young age. Physical activity can be a shared positive experience for the entire family.
Children look up to their parents and model behaviors they see in their parents’ actions. Suppose you are a good role model and speak positively about physical activity and participate in regular physical activity. In that case, your children will see this and develop a positive attitude about physical activity.
Ask for Input for Activity Ideas
Ask your daughter what activities she enjoys the most, and plan some of these into your physical activity routine. Maybe she likes taking a walk after dinner or playing catch in the backyard.
Having her input helps create ownership in their personal physical activity.
Limit Sedentary Time
Some screen time is necessary for children to complete homework, participate in learning activities, and relax. But it’s important to limit this time because children’s bodies are designed to move and be active.
If children are participating in virtual learning at home, then plan some physical activity for breaks throughout the day.
Getting children up off the couch can be challenging, but you can turn off screens and devices for a period of time each day to keep children active. Use this screen-free time to get outdoors, turn on music and dance, take a walk, or take children to a local playground.
Do Something Fun
Simple activities like dancing, jumping on a trampoline, water activities, or an obstacle course are easy to do and fun for anyone involved. Turn on some fun music and learn a new dance routine together.
Have your daughter or other children set up a family obstacle course in the backyard or at a local park using equipment and supplies you have at the house, like balls, jump ropes, or cones.
Physical activity does not have to be structured. As adults, we tend to structure physical activity and make a plan around our health and fitness goals. However, children’s bodies are designed to play without as much structure.
Make Physical Activity a Game
For example, if your daughter is young and learning her alphabet, you can find activities online that link an activity to each letter of the alphabet. So for “A,” it might be doing 15 jumping jacks. Then “B” would be walking like a crab for 15 seconds.
You can link this to things they are learning in school as well. If your daughter is learning about state capitals or has weekly spelling words, try to turn that into an active quiz or game.
Sign Your Daughter Up for a Class or Lessons
Exposing your child to different types of sports classes is a great way to keep them active. Dance, gymnastics, tennis lessons, or choosing a type of martial arts class are all good options.
Sports and other similar activities teach children coordination, develop motor skills, and improve interpersonal skills.
Find Activities that You Both Enjoy
Do you both love running? Sign up for a local or virtual race. If you both enjoy playing tennis, make time each week to play a match. If you both enjoy yoga, you can try a yoga video on YouTube. Go for a bike ride together around the neighborhood or in a local park.
Finding activities that you and your daughter both enjoy has multiple benefits. You are staying active, which is good for health, but you are also bonding and creating a healthy relationship. It might also give you one-on-one time, which can be hard to come by in large or busy families.
Get Help with Household Chores
Household chores keep us moving and limit our sedentary time. Depending on your daughter’s age, she can help vacuum, rake leaves, wash the car, or mop the floor. This can take some of the burdens off of the parents and also gets kids active.
Use Activity Time as Bonding Time
Even a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood can be a great time to catch up with your daughter to hear about what’s going on with her life. This might be the break you both need, especially if you have other children or feel like you never have enough time to catch up.
Avoid Using Physical Activity as Punishment
We may remember physical activity being used as punishment when we were younger, either in school or sports. For example, running laps or sprints used to be a common consequence for getting in trouble or making a mistake.
Try to stay away from this mindset as it might create a negative connection between punishment and physical activity. Creating a positive connotation between physical activity, health, and well-being is important in helping children stay active for the rest of their lives.
Staying Active is a Win-Win
Regular physical activity is important for overall health and well-being and can also create lifetime healthy habits in children. It can also give parents much-needed quality time and bonding with their children.
Staying active is a win-win for the entire family!