Get Up, Get Everybody Moving!
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As parents, you have the power to create awareness on the importance of exercising in your child. The best way to do this is by getting your child involved in the exercise or sports that you do. This will benefit not only you but your child as well.

The advantages of exercising together are:

  • Maintain good health: Exercising can improve one's overall health status and help maintain a normal body weight. Being active promotes the growth of healthy bones, muscles, joints, and helps build stamina and endurance. Regular exercise also minimises the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes mellitus and cancers.

  • Bring family closer: You can take the opportunity to communicate with your child and have fun together when exercising. The time spent working out together is also a great way to bond and connect with your child.

  • Increase self-esteem and confidence: Being involved in sports or exercise may increase your child's self-esteem and confidence. If your child is good at any sports, he/she will feel good about himself/herself. Mastering a sports activity will give your child a sense of accomplishment which boosts his/her confidence further.

What can you do to get your family member moving?

  • Lead by example: As parents, you are your child's role model as children often emulate their parents. If your child never sees you engaging in fitness or if they always hear you finding excuses to keep from working out, then they will think that it is fine to prioritize other activities over fitness. Hence, it is important for you to set a good example.

  • Allocate some free time: Making exercise a priority is a challenge, especially when it comes to finding time for it. Many working parents face this difficulty because of their busy schedules, yet it is crucial to find time for regular exercise. Allocate between 30 minutes to 1 hour, at least twice a week, to exercise together with your child.

  • Plan your family exercise routines: You and your child are mroe likely to stick to an exercise plan if you engage in it on a routine basis. You involve your child in the planning of daily activities for your family. Remember to plan for a variety of activities so that your child will not be easily bored. Put the exercise schedule on the fridge where everyone can see it.

  • Do what your child love: Enrol your child in his/her favourite activities. Participating in activities which your child likes will build his/her love for being active and encourages him/her to stay active. Keep these activities competitive. For instance, you can challenge your child in a basketball game if he is interested in playing basketball. Winning is not a goal; having fun with your child and getting exercise is more important.

  • Take your child out: Try not to spend too much time with your child doing passive activities like watching TV. Take them out; go for walks with your child at the park or around your housing area, or play simpe games with them after dinner. Alternatively, bring your child for a visit to the zoo or bird park. Anther option is to go window-shopping; the purpose is to make walking so interesting that your child forgets he/she is doing it.

  • Give motivation: It is very important that parents continue to motivate their child in doing exercises by rewarding them. For example, you can buy toys or gifts that promote physical activities such as racquet, swimming suit or basket ball. In addition, offer appropriate praise. Do not just say "great play", tell your child it was awesome how he/she passed the ball to you. When praise is specific and appropriate, it is a valuable self-esteem builder.

Here are some activities to get you start:

  • Gardening
  • Doing house-hold chores
  • Playing at the playground
  • Running or jogging at the park
  • Playing football/basketball/badminton
  • Cycling
  • Swimming

 

Exercise is important for the health and well-being of a child. Getting the whole family involved provides more than just the benefits of exercising, it also brings the family closer together. So start exercising with your child today!

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