Get them moving
The spring is here! And so are the seasons for many outdoor sports. From tennis to cycling and from athletics to baseball. Hopefully this year many athletes from around the globe will be performing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
In this Modular Monthly sports and exercise are in the spotlight. Not the passive type watching the Olympics on telly, but the active way! We will find out why sports and exercise are essential for your child. And how you can help to get your kids moving. At the bottom you’ll find the new Makers of the Month. On your mark, get set, go!
Lockdowns, winter weather and an abundance of screen entertainment. Just a couple of factors that lead to an inactive lifestyle. Not just for yourself, but also for your children. And that’s the group we are focussing on. Physical activity has important health benefits that we will explain further on.
So how much activity do children need every day? The World Health (WHO) organization recommends an average of at least 60 minutes a day for ages 5-17. This can be cycling, skateboarding, climbing trees, jumping rope or playing a sport like basketball at a club.
It turns out 76% of American children are not meeting the 60 minute a day goal (2018 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth). Studies by the WHO confirm these high numbers for other countries. An average of 81% of kids worldwide do not get enough exercise daily.
There’s also a remarkable drop in physical activity as children get older. This goes hand in hand with the increase of the hours of screen time a day. 43% of US high school aged students use an electronic device for more than 3 hours a day (2017 YRBSS). Kids up to 11 years of age are more likely to stick to the maximum 2 hours of screen time that is seen as a general guideline.
Now why is being active so important for kids? Lots of research has been conducted on this topic. To spare you the reading of these scientific articles, we’ve done it for you! Here are the key facts that stand out.
- There are positive indicators physical activity improves academic performance and executive functions(Journal of Sports and Health Science, 2012)
- It can relieve anxiety and depression (Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 2019)
- Increases bone health (Preventive Medicine, 2013)
- Increases cardio-respiratory endurance (Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 2018)
Be a good sport
The benefits of sports and exercise are evident. And who’s the one your kids spend the most time with? Who do they look up to? Yes, you! Set an example for your kids. If you’re staring at a screen all day, your kids will see this as the ‘normal’ way of life. If you go out for a run regularly, or take them cycling or play ball, they are likely to copy your behaviour.
Here are a few simple tips you can implement directly to set a healthy example:
- Replace car rides by cycling or walking as much as you can
- Involve your kids in the sports you practice yourself
- Plan ‘active hours’ for your family during the week where you go outside together for walking, running, cycling or active games
- Introduce your kids to a variety of different sports clubs so they can find one they like
- Compete within your family or with friends for the winner of ‘most steps a week’
- Take your Infento Ride out and make a race track in the garden or the park. Time the laps to make it challenging for your kids to take the course quickly. Throw in bits of running and climbing in your track and they get a complete workout 🙂
As your kids get older, your example role will be taken over by their peers. Kids that have friends and classmates that play sports are more likely to be enthused about participating themselves. But first… it’s up to you!
Makers of the Month
These boys are ready for the tandem Olympics! 😉 They made this creation with their dad, Jerry, who tells us how they got this idea:
“These times ask for new models! My sons are Noah (7) and Aaron (3) and not a day goes by that they don’t ask if we can build with Infento. The idea for the tandem came up because we are forced to stay at home a lot. The big infento Rides are too wide for the apartment, that’s why we built a very narrow vehicle. Two guys and one vehicle, that often lead to a quarrel, so the idea to create a compact tandem was born.”
Ready to get active and build something cool with your kids? YOU could be the next Maker of the Month! Jerry is part of the Infento Fan Community on Facebook. Here you can find many examples of creativity. Join the group to join the fun.