Why Kids Can Never Spend Too Much Time at the Playground
We all tend to live 26 hour lives in a 24 hour a day world. With so much to do and so little time to do it, it’s easy to let simple things like taking your kids to the playground fall by the wayside in favor of running errands, catching up on your email and cleaning the house on your days off. Don’t. Spending time with you, outside, is a key factor in getting kids to exercise.
When you don’t have your kids doing something, what do they do? Do they go outside and play? Or are they more likely to grab their Nintendo DS and curl up in front of the TV? The sheer volume of technology at our kids’ fingertips is making time spent playing outside all but obsolete. They’re entertained, and they’re out of your hair, but you’re helping them set a pattern that could be devastating to their health as they continue to grow.
A sedentary lifestyle is a leading factor in childhood obesity. Where once kids were too busy to gain weight, now pediatricians are treating more kids for obesity related conditions than ever before. Not only are an alarmingly high number of children being diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes, there are also an alarmingly high number of children suffering from childhood depression. Coincidence? If you’ve ever seen how cruel children can be, you wouldn’t think so either.
Children take their habits from their parents. If your kids are going to learn to get up and get moving, you’re going to have to give them the nudge they need to do it!
Getting kids to exercise once they’re out of the house isn’t hard. Even dedicated couch potatoes are full of energy and wonder in the great outdoors (although they may never admit it). Kids are naturally curious, so going for a hike, tromping through the woods or going spelunking will naturally appeal. Bikes, scooters and skateboards are a great way to get in some exercise without realizing what you’re doing.
Then there’s running all over the playground. Nothing says “cardio” like a rowdy game of tag.
Getting kids to exercise isn’t the only benefit of taking a break from your busy schedule to sneak in some quality play time. Kids with a good relationship with their parents feel valued. Their self esteem is higher, and because they receive the attention they need at home they’re less likely to go looking for it somewhere else.
By taking your children to the playground as often as possible you’re laying the foundation for a healthy, happy future!