According to NHS guidelines, children aged between 5-18 years need to do around 60 minutes of exercise, every single day. Unfortunately, research by Public Health England suggests that just 22% of kids that age, actually meet those recommendations, and that’s during term time. Further research suggests that during the summer holidays, that figure continues to drop.
But it doesn’t have to.
In this article, we are going to explore the benefits of summer sport, dive into a few ways you can help keep your kids active, and how to plan for their success.
The Benefits of Summer Sport
Firstly, let's look at the type of benefits young people can experience simply by being active for 60 minutes per day. Benefits include:
keeping childhood obesity at bay
Improving fitness levels
Providing the opportunity to socialise
Building a stronger heart, bones and muscles
Encouraging healthy growth and development.
With summer we see the opportunity to experience some of these benefits in natural daylight. This helps keeps levels of Vitamin D topped up, and has been proven to improve overall eye health too.
Ways to Keep Your Kids Active this Summer
As mentioned above, children between the ages of 5-18 should be taking part in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every single day. As their fitness levels increase, the time spent can also increase to up to several hours, per day.
In this context, moderate-intensity refers to working hard enough to raise their heart rate, breathing hard and beginning to sweat, but still able to hold a conversation.
Examples of exercises this can involve are bike riding, walking the dog at a brisk pace, playing at the park with friends, running, tennis, rollerblading or skating (why not check out our neighbours at the Loading Bay for lessons if you are looking to develop or learn a new skill) or if the Scottish weather isn’t cooperating why not head indoors for some Martial Arts, as recommended by the doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Planning for Success
In an ideal world, we would all be able to take a six-week break from work or the daily tasks of managing a busy household and spend it with our kids, but unfortunately, that isn’t the reality for most parents. For most of us, it’s a complex juggling act of trying to meet our own commitments, as well as making sure our kids have the best summer possible.
Here are some easy ways to plan for a successful, active summer:
With a little bit of planning, exercise can become a habitual and structured part of the day. If you sit down with your kids at the start of the summer you can create a wish list of things you would like to do.
From having a picnic at the park, going camping at the weekends, trying a new sport, going for a bike ride together, taking the dog on a new hike; then working out a schedule that lets you do it all.
This can help reduce the feelings of guilt of having to work and being able to tick off activities together is a great way to spend some extra quality time with the kids.
Keep it Fun
Making the experience fun is a vital part of keeping your kid motivated. With so many different ways to keep active in the summer, you have the opportunity to try and find activities they really enjoy.
We’ve found with the younger kids at EDA, it’s all about making training fun. It’s not about improving athletic performance, they have their entire lives for that, but at this age, it's all about finding something they enjoy, and keeping their interest by making movement fun.
We have found that kids Muay Thai provides an opportunity to train with young people of all ages, empowering them to work on vital social skills. With partners being changed throughout the session, it gives them the opportunity to make new friends all whilst getting that 60 minutes of exercise in.
Whatever the activity you choose, whether it’s a walk in the hills, running around at the park, going for a bike ride or joining us for a Muay Thai class, keeping your children active throughout the summer is crucial for their health and well-being both now, and in the future.
Kid’s Classes at EDA
At EDA we offer Muay Thai classes to kids aged 7-14, every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 pm. These classes are coached by our very own Spencer Brown, a WBC and ISKA European Champion, (they also run at the same time as our EDA 40 class, so you could get some training done at the same time, talk about fantastic forward planning!). You can contact us here to learn more.
For the slightly older kids we recommend joining our adult classes, which run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5.30 pm, and every Tuesday and Thursday at 6.30 pm, you can find out more about our Muay Thai programme here.