Real World Kids

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Times have changed, I was a proud mother that never seemed to worry about how much screen time my son was spending sitting and playing games on his iPad. After all, he had school and afterschool activities, his days were full, so some electronics never seemed to bother me… until now! I know this quarantine will eventually come to an end, but when we were given the notice that school was not going to start again and we will have to do distance learning from home, I decided to take action and make a change.

I started to encourage more than just Noah’s daily walk or bike ride; at the beginning it was rough. But after the first week, his mood had improved, and his energy levels had increased drastically; he even started asking for more outside activities. Kids need at least one hour of exercise a day. It helps fight obesity, lower the risk of diabetes, and improves their mood – just like it does for adults. Kids might typically be reluctant to exercise, but not if it is done in a methodical way. They will not go for runs or jump rope for hours, so it is important to get creative with them, so they do not notice how much activity they are actually getting. These are some fun ideas that I do with my son Noah that can help inspire you:

Tennis Lessons

Tennis is what I do for a living and even though in the past my son has been reluctant to pick up this sport, I have incorporated friends and kids his age that I know he will enjoy learning with. I make it a fun class where they improve their skills, sweat, and move a lot. Two hours go by quickly when the class is kept dynamic.

Swimming

I like to get in the pool with Noah. We play games like Marco Polo and I challenge him to swim laps with me. Your kids crave that parental attention; when you get in there and engage, it is a fun way to get them moving. I also invite one or two of his friends to swim, which always makes it more fun for him.

Surfing

Summer days in San Diego are beautiful. Noah surfs every summer, but with the new protocols it is challenging to get him in a full day camp. So instead, he has been taking some private lessons. It’s a shorter time but more intense.

Walking and Bike Rides

One of Noah’s favorite things is to converse. He loves to just walk and talk. This is a great time to open up with your kids and ask questions while moving. Ask how they feel in changing times and give them reassurances that this too shall pass.
If you are looking for ways to get your kids to be more active, think about what they enjoy and go from there. That way, they will be much more likely to keep up the good habits.

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Esteban Villanueva
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