With so much technology surrounding our everyday life, it’s easy for kids to sit around and watch TV, play video games, or surf the web. So much sitting around, however, can lead to many health risks and push kids into a sedentary lifestyle.
Sedentary Lifestyle: a term used to describe a lifestyle that revolves around little to no exercise. This type of daily living can be detrimental to health. A person who lives a sedentary life is commonly referred to as a “Couch Potato”.
It’s important to get up and move around throughout the day. Follow these simple steps to develop an fitness focuses environment in your classroom and at home so you can end the motionless cycle and build an active life on-the-go.
1. Start a Routine
Having a routine to follow every day establishes a time that is set aside to add movement into the day. Encouraging kids to join a sports team or taking classes like martial arts or rock climbing can be a fun way to get moving. Even if they don’t have time or find an interest in that type of activity, there are other way to add a little bit of extra movement into a day. For example, maybe they can simply pace around the bathroom while brushing their teeth. Developing these simple daily habits can increase productivity and make a huge difference in your step count at the end of the day.
2. Establish Movement Breaks
In the classroom, movement can be built into breaks between lessons or tasks. YouTube can be a great place to find an easy and fun dance or stretch routine for the class. Take a few minutes and let the kids walk around the room and stretch their legs. Also incorporating movement into lessons, like a gallery walk, to both enhance learning and encourage movement can be a great way to get the class moving. Another great way to add the benefits of moving into the class is to add standing desks in the classroom. Students can work on history or math while standing, which allows them to get their jitters out and decrease the amount of time students stay sedentary. Kids are meant to move, so allowing them to move in small ways throughout the day will save you a lot of headaches in the end.
3. Make Physical Activity a Priority
Encouraging movement at home helps to build an active lifestyle. A fun easy way to incorporate movement would be to take a walk around the block and talk about everyones days after dinner. Not only will this bring the family closer, but it shows the kids just how important it is to add movement into the day. This is a lesson that will stay with them as they grow up.
Another way to help lessen the effects of a sedentary lifestyle at home is to limit the amount of time spent on electronics. Every ten minutes on their phone or computer requires ten minutes of movement either immediately before or after. Finally, picking a new exercise to learn or practice each week with an incentive can be a neat way to incorporate movement. For example, create a challenge around an exercise. So if a family want to try planking, practice it together and then hold a contest at the end. Whoever can hold it the longest can get out of doing the dishes or some other unwanted chore.
There are lots of ways to incorporate movement into your life, both in the classroom and at home. Many of these don’t even require any special equipment, which makes it easy to get started!
Already an expert at ditching a sedentary lifestyle? We would love to hear how you did it! Leave your tips or success story in the comments below!