Why outdoor play is so important for your children.
Nobody today needs to be told about how important it is that children maintain a healthy weight. One in three 11-year-olds are overweight or obese, but there’s evidence that the problem with childhood obesity starts at a much younger age as 22% of four and five-year-olds are also considered overweight or obese.
The medical problems that can develop later in life from being overweight are endless - type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and certain types of cancer are just some of the things you’re more likely to be affected by. The effects of being overweight, especially at a young age, aren’t just physical however - they can also be psychological. Being picked last for sports teams and getting teased can make children unhappy and develop low self-esteem. While no child deserves to be bullied for his or her weight, this does highlight the problems overweight boys and girls face.
The importance of exercise.
While there’s no doubt that diet plays a major factor in children’s weight problems, another big problem is the fact that many children don’t get enough exercise. The issue may start in school: while the government talked strongly of an Olympic legacy budget cuts are likely to affect the amount of time dedicated to sport.
Even without the risk of school PE cuts parents should be doing all they can to encourage their children to lead an active lifestyle - the NHS recommends that children from the age of 5-18 should be engaged in at least 60 minutes moderate to intense physical activity. The problem is that many young boys and girls are happy enough to spend their time sat in front of a TV playing video games, or with their laptop chatting to friends rather than playing with them. For many parents, encouraging their children to be active can be frustrating.
Get active with a kids football goal
One problem is that despite the fact that children are known for having overactive imaginations, many of them will need some structure to exercise, even if it is minimal. Similarly, some children won’t like the idea of doing exercise for exercise’s sake - it has to be fun. There are several ways to solve both these problems, but few are simpler than just putting some kids football goals in your back garden.
Kids will love running around, practicing their football skills and having a shot at their new football nets. Many kids like to play video games because there is an aim to the game. These same kids will love taking aim at goal posts whether playing with friends or family - and that’s another reason playing outdoors is better than indoors. Having a garden goal will encourage your children to have friends around more so they are able to socialise face to face rather than through a television screen.
While 60 minutes of exercise a day might sound like a lot, an hour will fly by if your kids are distracted and having fun. Having distracted kids is just one more tiny benefit of getting them playing outdoors - you’ll be left in relative peace!