This is the last installment of our blog devoted to the factors that can help us – parents in detaching our kids from phones, tablets, computers …
So let’s start “A healthy spirit in a healthy body“!
A healthy lifestyle, the advantages of which we want to show you today, is not only about helping to reduce the time kids spend online, but also about their health itself. Health – manifested in eating habits or physical activity, it is also, and perhaps above all, being happy!
What is it all about?
A healthy body is what we eat and how we burn it.
An appropriate diet and activity not only have a positive effect on our physical health, but also on our mental state.
We all care about our health and that of our families, so let us try to introduce some healthy habits in a few steps. Some of us are already familiar with them and cannot imagine living without them. Others know that they should change something – but that will mean going one step further. There are also parents who do not feel the need to change anything, because they feel good in their bodies, habits, in their lives. Diversity of opinions and people is beautiful!
Nevertheless, we would like to try to show you why we think it is worth changing something or keeping to the habits that we have already developed.
What does physical activity give us?
- Oxygenation of the body – in order not to be constantly sleepy, apathetic, without vitality.
- Increased skeleton resistance to injuries and fractures.
- Better functioning of cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
- Keeping a proper body weight – do not confuse it with having a perfect figure 🙂
Why does physical activity have such a huge impact on our well-being?
It is all due to the positive influence of exercise on our nervous system.
- During physical activity, our body produces endorphins, i.e. peptide hormones, commonly known as happiness hormones.
- There is also an organic chemical compound called serotonin – which, in addition to regulating sleep and appetite, has a huge impact on our well-being.
- We are also helped by dopamines, which are neurotransmitters in the feeling of pleasure.
And what will our children get out of it?
- Toughened body and immune system
During the first years of a child’s life, the immune system forms. A child who moves a lot has a better chance of being healthy when he or she grows up. Physical activity helps to build muscles that protect the joints and spine from hardships, pain and injuries. Sport is also training the sense of balance and coordination. It helps to shape appropriate body reactions to changes in temperature. It creates a protective barrier for viruses and bacteria by moisturizing the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract.
Even on cold days it is worth to take a walk. Physical activity is the best training for the immunity of our children.
- Learning to be systematic
While practicing sports, a child has a chance to realise that the effort put in it pays off. One day he can’t kick the ball into the goal, but the next day he gets much better. After some time he wonders whether to sign up for a sports club and whether to participate in league matches. He experiences that there is no result without effort.
No educational talk will make him more aware of the principle “little by little does the trick” or “no work, no pay”. You have to work hard to learn something.
After the first, often difficult steps, physical activity begins to be fun. The joy of exercise, satisfaction when the first piruette is done, when you score a goal or overtake your friends on the bike. How nice it is to be able to go for a trip on your own, dance at a family celebration or swim across the pool.
Children get a chance to go crazy, to make noise, to enjoy themselves, and it’s pure pleasure!
- Release energy
A child has a lot of energy and needs to use it in some way. We can help him organize his day in such a way that he can run and jump this energy out. Thanks to this a kid will feel good, will have a better appetite and mood. As a result, it will be less cumbersome and biting for others.
- Learning how to compete and cooperate well
While practicing sports, especially group sports, a child has an opportunity to learn what cooperation is. It means that the whole group works for the success of the team. If one of the players forgets about the team and wants to win himself, it is usually for the bad of the team. The cooperation is also practiced in the coach – player relationship. Sport is also about learning how to compete healthily through fair play.
- Greater self-esteem
Everyone is different, interested in different things and better than others in certain areas. Sport is a real reinforcement for those who, for some reason, feel uncomfortable in the peer group. In sport you can find a satisfying occupation for yourself, strive to achieve success. Every victory, good score, successful gameplay is a reason for good mood and better self-esteem.
- Good relations
It is common knowledge that sport connects generations. It allows you to spend time together and share passions. It also gives you a chance to break away from your duties. When you do something together, new joys are discovered – strong bonds are formed in an unnoticeable way. The more sport in family life, the more good and joyful experiences.
In fact, physical activity of our kids can be combined with spending time together with us or our peers. Thanks to that, with not so much effort – children will gain a lot:
Family + physical activity = time spent together (family bonds) + exercise (health)
This can be e.g.: cycling, running, walking, badminton, ball games, dancing, swimming or gymnastics. It depends on us and our imagination.
You can also combine business with pleasure: e.g. help grandparents or parents to run the garden/orchard, mow the grass, wash the car, etc.
Other bonds connected with outdoor activities are also highly desirable.
Friends/mates + physical activity = time spent together (friendly relationships) + exercise (health)
Children spending time with their peers playing games, such as: tag, hide and seek, hopscotch, skipping rope, trampoline, ball games, cycling, rollerblading, skating and much more. They are not even aware of how much good it brings to them. While having fun, they keep their health and strengthen friendships.
When we are talking about the advantages of a healthy lifestyle, we would like to stop for a moment to talk about healthy eating as well.
We are what we eat….
Physical activity is one thing, but an appropriate diet, adapted to the physiological state of the human being, is quite another matter. A well-thought-out diet has an impact on both our physical and mental health. An improper meal can make us sleepy, devoid of energy or even depressed during the day. This is all due to increased level of glucose in the blood.
Proper diet means a systematic supply of all nutrients to the body in appropriate quantities and proportions.
A few hints on what principles should govern the healthy eating of our children:
- Regular meals – children should eat at least 4 meals a day with equal breaks between them, on average every 3-4 hours. Regular meals – children should eat at least 4 meals a day with equal breaks between them, on average every 3-4 hours.
- Variety of food.
- The energy supplied to the body should preferably come from cereal products, especially. whole meal, which are higher in fibre, vitamins, macro- and microelements. These are e.g. wholemeal bread, brown rice, buckwheat groats, barley, wholemeal pasta, etc.
- It is worth to drink milk (at least 2 % fat) because it is the best source of calcium.
- Egg, legumes and fish supply us with wholesome protein, iron, zinc and vitamins from groups B and D3.
- Add fruit and vegetables to every meal. Perhaps a colourful diet will attract our children:
green – e.g. lettuce, broccoli, spinach, leek, chives, peas, courgette, parsley, dill, herbs, apples, pears, avocado, grape, kiwi.
orange – e.g. carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, marrow, grapefruit, orange, tangerines.
yellow – yellow pepper, parsley, celery, onion, beans, lemon, apples, pears, banana.
white – garlic, cauliflower, kohlrabi, white cabbage, white currant.
red – red peppers, strawberries, raspberries, wild strawberries, apples, sweet cherries, sour cherries.
violet – aubergine, blueberries, blackberries, bilberries, blackcurrant, plums, grapes.
pink – beetroot, red cabbage, red onion, peaches, nectarines.
- Fats – the best are those from nuts and vegetables, e.g. rapeseed oil, soybean oil, linseed oil and olive oil.
- Water – use it as a main drink – in any quantity.
- Avoid fast food products.
- Ready-to-eat sweets should be eaten in moderate amounts.
- It is also important to start a day with breakfast at home and have the last meal about 1.5 hours before going to bed.
At this point, we would like to convince you to make the effort to change your eating habits, starting with one small thing at least. Then the next and the next. We know best what is right and wrong in our family’s menu. Change the proportions so that healthy and valuable meals are majority, while our favourite but unhealthy food gets only a narrow margin.
The heart of the matter
If we try to draw conclusions from the whole series of blog devoted to detaching a child from excessive use of a smartphone, tablet or computer, it turns out that:
- Every parent knows his or her child best and knows what he or she needs. This means that you are the best experts in raising your children. You know them best and you know what they need to grow into valuable people. You know what they like, what they are interested in, what to work on to help them overcome the difficulties they are experiencing.
- The online world has a number of drawbacks, but also many advantages. It is up to us to show our children what is valuable in it and what can adversely affect their proper development.
- Just keep in mind two principles indicated by specialists: children – no matter how old they are, should not exceed 2 hours a day online and the younger they are, the more selected online content should be.
- Keep in mind that outside of the online world, we live in an offline world, where…
I Family and family bonds are most important
II Friendship and shared fun is fundamental
III And – in a healthy body, a healthy spirit will grow
- A proper diet will ensure that our children will not waste energy during the day and will be able to use it for other activities, apart from the basic ones.
- Even if our child does not know what kind of activity gives him/her pleasure, nothing to worry. There is plenty of time to discover it. All we have to do is try to motivate children all the time, so that they want to look for it and try.
- Try to constantly work to strengthen family and friendship ties, which is an ongoing process, and the shape, appearance and durability of it depends on us.