If you’re already a fan of active walking, then you know what this activity can offer in terms of health and well-being. The benefits of walking can be felt at any age and especially by children, who are particularly at risk of excess weight due to a sedentary lifestyle.
This article will help you understand how you can motivate your child to walk and for how long.
Why should I encourage my child to walk?
Your child already spontaneously takes many steps throughout the day. They move a lot during school playtime, during sports activities and perhaps also during a more intense weekly sports activity.
But do they practise any endurance activities? The benefits of walking are multiplied when combined with endurance, this means anything beyond 30 minutes per day!
This sports activity can be practised from the youngest age, where it can be incorporated into the daily life of the whole family.
So don’t hesitate: equip your children with the right shoes and give them a taste for walking!
From what age can my child walk for longer periods?
As soon as your child is capable of walking without falling, you can invite them with you on short walks, to stimulate their appetite for discovery.
When they reach the age of 4 or 5, let them pick up the habit of walking to and from school. By your side, your little one will accumulate previous minutes of walking and will naturally incorporate this sports activity into their daily life.
How long should I walk with my child?
After short school to home, journeys have been well established, offer your child an additional 30-minute walk, 2 to 3 times per week.
Observe their reactions and above all, never force them!
If you feel capable and motivated, lengthen the duration of the walk to up to 1 or 2 hours.
Is it possible to practice active walking with my child?
It is recommended that children do 1 hour of “moderate to intense” exercise per day.
Active walking is perfect for incorporating these changes in rhythm: simply walk faster! You can, therefore, initiate your child to active walking, by inviting them to pay attention to their breathing, to feel how their arms contribute to the walk or to teach them how to practise their stride.
Be patient: Your young walker’s enthusiasm will depend on their level of energy, their mood, their temperament and even on the weather. Always listen to them: these family outings should remain a pleasure!
By walking side by side, you will introduce your child to the pleasures of outdoor sport and get them habituated to choose walking over transportation for short distances. You will also help them maintain their health and well-being each day!