Being a single mum can be one of the most challenging things you ever have to deal with as a woman. Still, irrespective of the circumstances that led you to this point, I believe that you are strong enough to succeed as a single mum.
However, with loads of things like work and bills demanding your attention, it can be easy to ignore the importance of ensuring that your kids engage in enough physical activities, which I bet you’d agree with me is necessary to improve their general wellbeing.
According to a WHO report published in 2020, 1 in 4 adults does not meet the global recommended physical activity levels. I believe that this could have been curbed if these adults had imbibed the culture of being physically active from childhood.
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In case you’re wondering what this is all about, physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by the contraction of skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. It is highly beneficial for the heart, body, muscles, bones, joints, and mind. It also enhances thinking, learning, and judgment skills. It can help reduce the risks of anxiety, high blood pressure, and a couple of other illnesses later in life.
NHS recommends that kids under the age of 5 should not be inactive for long periods, except when asleep. And adolescents from 5 to 18 should do at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous-intensity physical activities each day.
While all these are beneficial to your child, you may currently be thinking of saving up money for their education, a new car, or even a home. Still, the truth is, you don’t need to break the bank, and here are three cost-effective ways to raise physically active kids.
1. Choose activities based on their age – Your preschooler does not need to cycle. Instead of getting a bicycle for the grown-ups, you can make them walk to school or the library, depending on the distance.
Instead of buying a trampoline, you can bring out a mattress and let the kids bounce off it as they attempt to paste sticky notes on the wall to see who can aim the highest. They still get to jump, and you get to save money. Whatever you choose, ensure that it is appropriate for their age and they are safe while at it.
2. Be a role model and play with them. Children repeat behaviors that they see, and the best way to encourage them to get off the couch is by hitting the floor. Another cost-effective way to raise your kids to be physically active is to lead by example.
Going for a run? Let them come with you. Want to walk the dog? Let them join you. Carry the kids along if there’s a new routine you’re trying to learn in your aerobic classes. You can as well ditch the car and go shopping. When you do this, you become healthier, you get to bond more, and your relationship with the children thrives.
3. Make time for exercise and plan – Physical activities require intentionality. Create a list of activities (such as playing fetch with the dog, hula-hooping, or going for a hike) that fit their definition of fun and decide which would be easiest to achieve the next day or week.
For adolescents, limit screen time and set rules for access to immobile activities such as video games. Once you have their attention, get them involved and ensure that you put safety measures in place. Being a single mum is a superpower, and you have all it takes to balance it all. Need to talk more about work-life balance as a single mum? I’m here to help; book a consultation.
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