Did you know that kids who receive mostly As on their report cards are almost twice as likely to get the recommended daily 60 minutes of physical activity than kids who receive mostly Ds and Fs?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kids who perform better in school are more likely to be physically active on a regular basis. Adding physical activity to your child’s day can not only keep him or her healthy, but also increase attention, behavior, and positive attitudes leading to improved academic performance.
If 60 minutes a day sounds like a lot, consider that 8 to 18-year-olds spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media including TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies in a typical day, and only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity.
With the weather getting cooler and days getting shorter, are you having trouble getting your kids motivated to be active? Check out some fun fall suggestions from Sneaky Fitness:
With geocaching available in many local areas, you don’t have to go far to participate in this outdoor treasure hunt. Using a GPS-enabled device or your smartphone, you walk or hike to specific locations to find hidden containers or caches. The caches contain a logbook with notes from other people who were there or other items for a fun discovery adventure.
2. Obstacle courses
Whether in the backyard or in the playground, an obstacle course is a great way for kids to engage in a variety of activities. Obstacle courses are also great for kids of all ages to play together, because they can compete against their own time – not against each other. The course can include a variety of activities like sprinting, a bike ride, jump roping, a hula hoop, and a Frisbee toss.
You can set up a regular backyard race or get more creative and customize it with your kids’ interests – from dance moves to sports drills. Many local race events for adults also include a kids’ fun race which is a great way to train and compete together.
4. Circuit training
Rather than a boring gym routine, circuit training for kids can incorporate any sports drill, Yoga pose or exercise – and can be done indoors or out, in a pool or on the playground. Set up eight to 10 circuit stations and alternate cardio, strength training, flexibility and balance exercises. Preschoolers should be at each station for thirty seconds or less and two to five minutes is good for older kids.
5. Tag with a creative spin
A game of tag is an easy standby but you can spice it up depending on the age. Preschoolers can pretend to be different animals, so when the child who is “it,” is tagged, he then has to move like a different animal (for example, slither like a snake or crawl like a cat). For older kids, use clothespins to tag each other; the player to get rid of all of his clothespins wins.
6. Do-gooder events
Charity work is a great way for kids to get active and feel good about helping others. Let your kids pull a wagon around the neighborhood to collects books for their library, canned goods for a local food pantry, or socks, hats and gloves for programs serving the homeless. Volunteering can help them be more active too!