How to teach kids to stay fit for life! Kids’ fitness.
All those articles that keep popping up in the news feed about obesity and an unfit world? Sadly, they are mostly true! The world is slowing down, getting more comfortable and settling in. There are screens everywhere, kids have school work, maybe there is a lack of space – the reasons for this slowdown may be many, but the result is the same. A less fit younger generation! Rising child obesity is a global concern. So what are we doing about it?
In the busy schedules of today, how do you teach child fitness?
One of the good things of having a Yoga day in focus is that it brings to fore the idea of fitness for all. It prompts us to think about fitness. It is not just about physical fitness, either. Study after study has proved that the benefits of exercise far exceed just the body and affect the brain, the mind, emotions, etc. In fact, exercise seems to affect every part of life.
Going to the gym can be even a social experience as we meet different people, exchange notes, talk about our interests, and more. But one does not always need to go to the gym. For little kids, the best exercise can be playing outdoors. Sports like tennis, badminton, football, swimming, and gymnastics can be a great way to stay fit and cultivate a fitness habit. Yoga for kids is another great way to keep mind and body fit for life.
So how can you ensure that the child forms a fitness habit and makes it a part of their life forever?
Look at what they are interested in. If they like football, encourage them to play it! Interest is more important than talent or skill if you want them to sustain the habit. Ability will come later with practice.
Lead by example. Play a sport, go to the beach and take a walk, climb a tree, just go cycling; do something that involves you getting some exercise, so they find it interesting. If you sit at the couch, so will they.
Talk about fitness. If they hear something over and over, they too will start thinking about it.
Make it fun and exciting. Play volleyball at the beach, chase a wave. Run a race with them; being competitive brings on excitement. Play ‘Simon says’ with activity.
Do not make it a chore. If you are too strict about it and make it a class, it may backfire. A to-do list and children inspire no one are definitely not motivated that way.
Keep it simple. No one needs to do the Garuda pose on day one. There is always the tree pose, the mountain pose, and the simple Shavasana that are more natural and more fun by their sheer names. And this is not just for yoga poses for kids; it applies to all activities.
Get creative. Pretend they are running away from a monster and run fast. It’s a great kids’ workout and will bring on a case of giggles as well. You can introduce kids to Yoga without even naming it. Just make a pretend mountain, and you are in a pose. Put a toy or read a book that inspires.
Do it together. Make it a family thing. If not every day, do that on weekends. Better yet call a group of friends and do it together. It’s fun and more enjoyable.
Physical activity is a must to beat obesity and ill health. How you do it is up to you. These days there is something for all ages. This Yoga day is a good time to start something new. Yoga is not just about poses. It’s about committing to something. Start today. Namaste!
International Yoga day is 21st June 2019.