6 physical activity habits that will pay off later in life

Studies show that children who develop good physical activity habits tend to be more physically active in their adult life. Even the smallest changes in your children’s daily routine can have a positive impact on their health in the future. So where do you start?

MAKE STAIRS YOUR BEST FRIEND

It’s human nature to take the easy route. Why make your life more difficult and climb three flights of stairs to reach your office or apartment if there’s a convenient elevator waiting for you right at the entrance? It seems like no brainer: the elevator saves you time and energy.

There’s one thing you need to remember, though: laziness is a habit, too, and it starts with little “shortcuts”. Use the stairs whenever you can and leave the elevator to deliverymen carrying heavy boxes or elderly people with serious motor limitations. Going up and down the stairs is an excellent exercise that strengthens your knees and leg muscles, and a great habit to develop from an early age.

CARRY YOUR BACKPACK ON YOUR BACK NOT YOUR SHOULDER

Who doesn’t remember carrying a heavy backpack filled with books and notebooks?

Distributing the load you carry evenly by placing a well-fitting backpack on both shoulders with extra security features in the front (similar to those you can find in travel backpacks) is a great way to reduce the risk of asymmetry in the back, both in children and adults.

A WALK A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY

Another thing you should always keep in mind is that walking is the most natural form of physical activity for humans.

How many times have you driven to a store that’s just around the corner because it’s faster and doesn’t require carrying your groceries home?

A small challenge to activate your locomotor system, such as taking a fast-paced walk to school or work, may take an extra 15 to 20 minutes but it’s a great habit to have in the long run.

SWITCH SCREEN TIME FOR PLAY TIME

Sitting at a computer or using your smartphone strains your lower back and cervical spine. Remember to “log into life” and take your kids with you. Take advantage of the beautiful weather in the summer or fresh snow in the winter and make it a family habit to spend time outdoors. Your body will thank you for it!

USE SPORTS TO BUILD CHARACTER

Exercising is not just about recreation but competition, too. Competing against other players is the best way to build character while promoting physical development from an early age. Sports teach us many life lessons: how to remain humble, fight for what you want in life, handle defeat, or overcome your weaknesses.

Pick your favourite discipline and practise regularly. This will help you develop your body and mind and make new friendships that can last a lifetime.

DON’T SPEND YOUR VACATION LYING BY THE POOL

Everyone needs a rest every now and then. Just remember that people who spend their leisure time actively regenerate faster and more efficiently than those who spend their vacation lying by the pool.

Try to schedule some leisure activities for your kids that will keep them be active from an early age. They will have a lot of fun and develop the healthy habit of being active, while giving you some time to do what you like (preferably exercising!). Just remember not to overdo it. If you are really tired, there’s nothing wrong with taking a few days off.

So which of these healthy habits are you going to integrate into your family’s routine today? :)

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