One of the reasons I do what I do is to be a role model to my daughter. There are so many poor influences in the lives of our youth, it’s important that our kids see us as the awesome, cool parents we are. We should share the struggles and successes that we encounter and let them see that even though it’s work, we enjoy it and it makes us who we are.
I am always trying to find ways to get Olivia, my 7 year-old daughter, into an active lifestyle. That includes bike riding, playing at the park and sports. We’ve tried swimming and although she loved playing in the water, she wasn’t interested in taking lessons.
Then we tried a structured running training program with the NYRR. She liked running on the track, but not the other track and field sports (javelin throwing and the relay). She will be going back to soccer next month, but in the meantime, she needs to do something to keep moving.
Yet, even though she doesn’t like the track and field program, she does love to race. So I make sure to take her to every kids fun run I can find. Great thing is they almost always give medals to the finishers, which Olivia requires. The girl loves her bling. It’s all part of my Master Plan to turn her into an athlete of some sort. I don’t care what sport she plays (as long as it doesn’t involve a horse, parallel bars, or other dangerous implement). It just keeps her moving. And playing sports fulfills that need for daily fitness. So, I keep on trucking, hoping Olivia continues to race.
Speaking of daily fitness requirements, lets just go over these real quick.
Fitness Guidelines For Youth (Ages 6-17 years old)
- Children and adolescents should get 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily.
- Most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
- Should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least three days a week.
- Children and adolescents should include muscle- and bone-strengthening physical activity at least three days of the week.
Aerobic activities include, but are not limited to: biking, canoeing, dancing, walking briskly, and water aerobics. Vigorous activities are basketball, jumping rope, running or bicycling on hills, soccer, swimming laps, and martial arts.
Strengthening activities work all the major muscle groups:- legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders, and arms. These include, but are not limited to: lifting weights, push-ups, sit-ups, and working with resistance bands.
Bone-strengthening activities promote bone growth and strength. Theses include activities that can also be aerobic and muscle-strengthening like running, jumping rope, basketball, tennis, and hopscotch.
Keeping our kids active not only heals the body, but it increases self-esteem and keeps the mind sharp. Kids who stay active get better grades, and are usually more socially confident. So no matter how many times your child says no, keep trying. You will eventually find something they love.
Question: If you are a parent, how do you maintain your child’s fitness daily?