We all know that exercise is important for us and of course, it is for children too. A child that has had a physically active day will have more serotonin running around their brains, sleep better, have a better appetite and be happier. Here is Rufus, founder of TARKA London, on why children need to fall in love with exercise at a very young age.
“One of the principal reasons for setting up TARKA is because I worry about how much time a day children, spend sitting down staring at screens. To have children being engaged with each other doing exercise is a great tonic for this growing problem. And if you can get children hooked on exercise and its benefits at the earliest age possible, then brilliant!
I set up TARKA in 2016 after serving for 9 years in the Household Cavalry where fitness was part of my life. I was very fortunate to bicycle across the USA, do the Marathon des Sables twice and row across the Atlantic whilst I was serving. It’s clearly in my DNA to be active but actually, my father played a huge part in making me who I am. My father never let me be lazy and was always a great example for me to follow. I want children to get hooked like me and we want TARKA to provide positive male role models for them to be able to look up to.
Exercise recommendations for 3-6 year olds
Young children between the ages of 3-6 should spend at least 180 minutes (3 hours) a day doing a variety of physical activities spread throughout the day, including active and outdoor play. Children, especially young children, are absorbing everything that you (adults) do. Very simply, if you’re active they will be too. It is up to you to set the standard. But not only that, exercising together is a great chance to bond with your child.
Get out into the garden
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, then use that for all sorts of fun games. If you don’t, you can’t do heaps inside your own house. At TARKA we use theme-based games where the kids have to use their imagination to build castles and fight off dragons collect treasure from grumpy pirates. You can do this at home with some cushions for forts or a bed as a boat, but the important bit is that you create the story for your kids and help them develop their imagination.
Just make it fun, make it competitive, be silly, be an epic parent to hang out with. If you buy into that, your child will buy into it too. But you know this already… so do it!”
TARKA is a developmental exercise company that specialises in getting young children to love exercise from an early age. Rather than just getting children to run around and burn off steam, they get children to use their brains, work in teams and begin to understand what it is to be ‘emotionally intelligent’. TARKA runs classes for children starting from 18 months old all the way up to 8 years old. As well as their term time classes, they offer 4-hour holiday classes throughout all of the holidays where their primary focus is on getting children moving and being active!