Leading on from our previous blog post about the mental health benefits that exercise brings to young ones, this week we are exploring the physical health benefits that giving your children a healthy, active, lifestyle brings.

It is hard to believe that the word “obese” can be used to describe a child so early on in their life, however new figures from the NHS display that in 2015, more than 1 in 5 children in reception were classed as obese.  As figures increase year on year, and as children get older, preventing obesity from a young age is vital.

It is no old wife’s tale that leading an active, healthy balanced lifestyle is crucial to remain fit and healthy. It does not need to be intimidating, time consuming or expensive to engage your little one in an active lifestyle and our simple A-Z gets down to the nitty-gritty of this!

A to Z of Being Healthy

A – Activities. There is certainly no shortage of activities in this day and age. Whether this be a Sunday morning trip to the park or attending a football class once a week, giving your child this routine with exercise will help them assume it should be a part of their lifestyle moving forward.

B – Bananas. You can’t beat a good banana. Give your child a banana as a snack before they are off running around to increase their energy; much better than those sugary snacks.

C – Clubs. Clubs are a great way to meet new friends and stay active in a fun way. There are multiple free clubs for young children to join and enjoy.

D –  Dinner. Asking your young one to join you to make their dinner will begin to familiarise them with different food groups and healthy eating ideas.

E – Excitement. All parents are aware that young ones are full of beans, so what better way to blow out this excitement than enjoying activities and exercise with friends.

F – Friendship. Brilliant friendships are formed through sport – particularly team games!

G – Guidelines. Knowing the general guidelines for food consumption for your child can help with portion control and understanding what nutrients they need. Currently, the government recommends that a growing 1-6-year-old consumers 1300-1800 calories per day.

H – Healthy eating. This one is a given, teaching your child what foods will make them tick will give them confidence and a positive approach towards food into adulthood.

I – Iron. An iron deficiency is common in young children. Ensuring they are having substantial iron intake will mean that your young ones have more energy and in turn perform better in sport.

J – Junk Foods. With small growing bodies, this is something to try and avoid. Everyone is guilty of giving their children some junk food, however it is important not to make this part of their daily routine.

K – Kids. Although it is important to do all we can to help our children, it is important to remember they are still KIDS! They will want chocolate, they will fall over and hurt themselves. But it is all character building.

L – Low levels of activity. Only 23% of girls age 5-7 meet the recommended activity levels in England (World Health Organisation). This sedentary lifestyle is mirrored by problems in nutrition and diet also.

M – Milk! No matter what some experts may say, milk is good for the bones of growing children.

N – New skills. Just letting your child play and freely run around will help them to build new skills independently and with confidence.

O – Opportunities. Giving your child new opportunities will help them to explore what they enjoy, trying out a variety of activities is easy and as simple as sticking your favourite CD on and seeing how good your little one’s dance moves are.

P – Posture. Exercise from a young age can help promote a good posture, hopefully combating injuries and pains later on in life.

Q – Quinoa. Not many words start with Q. Quinoa does. However, do not panic. You do not need to start feeding your children the ultimate health food just yet.

R – Running. The first motor skill your child tends to learn. Unless you have a mini David Beckham on your hands who may be kicking before he runs. Running is simple, just let your child do it until they run out of steam.

S – Stress. Relieve your own stress by resting assured that your little one is healthy and active.

T – Time. Giving time to active experiences as a family such as walks or going to the local swimming pool is far more valuable than time spend in front of a screen for both your child’s health and your family life.

U – Under 5. Recommendations for young ones under 5 from the NHS state that they should not be inactive for long periods of time except when sleeping. Light activities include walking around and less energetic play. More energetic activities for under 5s include riding a bike, skipping and climbing.

V – Victory. Raising a young, fit and healthy child is the biggest victory for any parent. Be on your way to victory by starting today!

W – Whole family. Involving the whole family in an active lifestyle will be a driver to involve your children in sports.

X –  XXL. The clothing size you want to avoid buying for your children.

Y – Youth. After all, the youth of today are the future so helping them to be active and healthy is of upmost importance.

Z – Zooming. Exactly what you want to see your little ones doing. Here, there and everywhere.

Get Active Today!

The possibilities are endless in bringing your child a healthy, active lifestyle. Kick-start them in the right direction today with our handy guide!

If you would like to get your child(ren) involved in more sports, why not book in to one of our football classes for toddlers? We even have trial offers where your little one can have 45 minutes of fun for free, so you can make sure the class is right for you and your little one!