As a mom, you’re already aware that getting enough sleep and regular exercise—along with proper diet and other good habits—are crucial to your children’s growth.
Unfortunately, many parents continue to have a hard time convincing their kids to develop these habits early. Getting them to exercise and sleep on time are challenging enough on their own—add to the mix distractions competing for their attention such as TV, games, phones, and a myriad of gadgets they’re often glued to, and you might already find yourself desperately wondering, “What’s a mom to do?”
Creating new routines is a good way to develop good habits. Why don’t you start by outlining a daily exercise and sleep schedule that’s fun and will make your kids look forward to doing every day?
Here’s an example of an easy-to-follow daily exercise and sleep schedule you can try with your kids. You may also consult with your family’s physician to help you determine the most appropriate schedule and activities for your children, and consult the kids themselves for their suggestions.[ads:3]
To prevent inactivity, let your kids consistently do exercises and other physical activities throughout the day. Keep in mind: the World Health Organization recommends children ages 3 to 4 to spend at least 180 minutes of physical activity at any intensity per day; and children and adolescents ages 5 to 17, at least an average of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity activities.
Upon waking up in the morning
Set a consistent “rising time,” followed immediately by a 10-minute morning exercise routine. Stretches, jumping jacks, and jogging can wake your kids up and get them ready for the day. You can also take it to the yard so they get their daily dose of vitamin D from the sun!
Get the kids involved in planning the details to make it more fun for them. For example, let them play their favorite song while they do their exercise routines, or have them lead the family’s morning exercise a few times a week.[ads:8]
In between breaks during online classes
Kids enjoy doing things with their parents. So, to motivate them to get active during break times, get them to do stretches and some brisk walking together in and around the house. Doing so is good for both your child’s health and yours.
While you’re at it, do take the lead in promoting an active lifestyle among your children by setting a good example. Say, rather than scrolling on your phone endlessly during your own WFH breaks, let them see you doing simple exercises yourself so they can be encouraged to imitate you.
Throughout the day
Simple sports and doing chores are just some of the many different activities that can help kids (and adults) stay active throughout the day.
So, why not combine both to make it more exciting for the kids? Turn sorting out clothes for laundry into a mini basketball game, with palanggana as the baskets and clothes as balls. This also works for picking up their toys scattered around the house. You can also give them a reward for every task they finish, like giving them their favorite snack or letting them decide dinner![ads:14]
Establishing a relaxing nighttime routine can help ensure the kids get enough and good quality sleep, during which the body works to repair itself and keep it healthy. The World Health Organization recommends children ages 3 to 4 to have 10 to 13 hours of sleep, while the Centers for Disease and Control recommends older children and adolescents to have 8 to 12 hours of sleep.
3 hours before bed
Wind down with your kids by spending some time for nightly “wrap-ups,” where you simply talk to them about their day. This can be your chance to learn more about them, too.
2 hours before bed
Let your kids wash up around 2 hours or 1 1/2 hours before bed. Tip: a warm bath can help your kids relax and fall asleep faster. Some experts found that warmth increases blood flow, which helps aid the circadian process and sleep.
At this point, your children are drawing closer to bedtime so it helps to keep a calm atmosphere and avoid noise and stimulation.[ads:21]
1 hour before bed
One study found that gadget use just before bedtime reduces sleep quality and quantity among children, and can even lead to childhood obesity. So, stop gadget use (including TV watching!) at least an hour before bedtime.
Instead, opt for more relaxing activities. Tuck them in and read a book together, or play soothing music. A warm glass of milk is also a good way to help them fall asleep.
Once everyone agrees on a daily physical activity and sleep schedule, make it a point to implement this consistently. But remember to not to be too forceful, and make the routines engaging so the little ones can learn and even enjoy the process.
Don’t forget to feed them nutritious food, too! As previously mentioned, the right nutrition, paired with regular exercise and proper sleep, helps promote children’s growth and development. An oral nutritional supplement like PediaSure Plus can be incorporated into your kids’ balanced diets to support their growth.[ads:26]
Watch this video to know more about the role of proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise in children’s growth:
Moms, keep in mind: Routines help habits stick. Be the first to encourage your children in developing good exercise, sleep, and eating habits early on, because these can help build a solid foundation on which your kids can lean on as they face life’s challenges later on.
Be part of the growing community of moms in Alagang Abbott Parentship!