The holiday season can be a difficult time to implement healthy lifestyle changes for your entire family due to the many festivities and food for the season! Especially when school is out and there’s more time for indoor play, it’s essential to ensure your kids stay active and keep their bodies healthy. You want your kids to enjoy their winter break, but you also don’t want them to become couch potatoes.
If you’re unsure where to start, we’ve covered you with these tips to get your child in shape for the holiday season.
Tip #1: Set Some Screen Time Limits
We know – it’s hard to get kids to put down their screens these days. But too much screen time can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, and that’s not good for anyone. A good rule of thumb is to limit screen time to two hours or less per day. And during the winter months, when your kids have more free time, try to limit how much they can be on their devices each day.
If your child is used to unlimited screen time, start by setting some limits. For example, allow them one hour of screen time in the morning and one hour in the evening. Then, gradually begin to decrease the amount of time they can be on their devices each day. You can also try setting a rule that they can only use their devices after they’ve completed a certain amount of physical activity for the day.
Tip #2: Give Them Some Variety
When it comes to exercise, kids often get bored quickly. So it’s important to mix things up and give them a variety of activities to keep them engaged. Sign them up for a local camp or league if they’re into team sports. If they prefer individual activities, skiing or biking are great options. There are also contemporary dance classes for beginners that can be a lot of fun for kids that love dancing.
Whatever their interests are, there are plenty of ways to keep them active and engaged. The key is finding an activity they enjoy and sticking with it. If they need some motivation to get moving, try setting up a daily step challenge with the whole family. This will not only get them moving, but it will also be a fun way to bond with your child.
Tip #3: Make It Fun!
Above all else, ensure that whatever activity you choose for your child is something they enjoy. If they’re not having fun, they’re not going to want to do it – no matter how good it is for them. So find an activity your child can really get excited about, and then make it a regular part of your summer routine.
A good way to do this is to find a local park or recreation center that offers a variety of activities. This way, your child can try different things until they find something they really enjoy. And once you find that activity, schedule it into your child’s week so they can stick with it. But make sure to also set aside some time each week for family activities, like hiking or playing catch in the backyard, for when they cannot do their chosen activity daily.
Tip 4: Incorporate Physical Activity Into Your Child’s Daily Routine
Different children have different needs regarding how much physical activity they need each day. But a good rule is that kids should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. And this doesn’t have to be all at once – it can be broken up into smaller chunks of time throughout the day.
One way to make sure your child is getting enough physical activity is to incorporate it into their daily routine. For example, if they take the bus to school, have them walk or ride their bike to the bus stop. Or, if they usually watch TV after school, have them go outside and play for 30 minutes first. Always try to find ways to sneak in a little extra activity into your child’s day.
Getting your child in shape this winter doesn’t have to be difficult – it can be a lot of fun! Just remember to set some limits on screen time, give them a variety of activities to choose from, and make sure that whatever you do is something that everyone enjoys. Don’t force them to do something they don’t want to do, or they’ll never stick with it. If you can find an activity that your child loves, they’ll be more likely to stay active all winter long.