Exercise is essential to maintain a healthy balance between body and mind, and this is true of everyone, including children. The problem is, most kids today don’t get nearly enough time to exercise thanks to a cluttered routine that involves things like homework, video games, art classes, music classes, and social media.
While it’s true that most parents also struggle to maintain a workout routine, it shouldn’t be the same with children. For instance, simple things like riding a bike to school and doing sports can go a long way towards pushing kids into being more active. If signing up for the basketball team is out of the question, then you can always start with the easy stuff like playing backyard sports or taking the dog for a walk – whatever it takes to get them excited about the outdoors.
To help you nail down a fun activity for your kid, we’ve outlined six ways you can motivate your kids to become active.
1. Be a good role model
The last thing you want to do is force your kid into doing exercises when you don’t believe in them yourself. You have to practice what you preach if any of your schemes are to be taken seriously. As parents, we have to make an effort to teach our kids how to live a healthy life and getting more active is definitely a way to spruce up their day-to-day experiences. When they can see you making an effort, they are more likely to open up to being more active.
2. Find a fun activity
Find out what your child likes and organize a fun activity centered around their favorite things. If for instance, you have a daughter that loves dogs, you can arrange regular trips to the park to let her run around all afternoon and play with her dog. If, on the other hand, your son loves baseball, it would make an impression if you took him to watch a baseball game, and then take him to baseball practices every once in a while.
3. Make exercise a priority
This might be harder to do if both you and your child have a hectic schedule but it’s important that you see exercise as a priority. Remember, exercise is just as important as the time your child spends reading and learning, and it has a profound impact on your child’s life. Come up with a plan for exercise that includes clear fitness goals, and remember to include healthy food that provides a healthy dose of energy.
4. Think outside the playing field
Your child probably has one or two activities they like that you can use a starting point when teaching them to be more active. It could be dancing, riding, running, swimming, or even skate boarding. Whatever it is, be flexible and find a way to make it interesting for you both.
5. Play with your child
This is crucial especially in those early stages when you’re trying to get your kid to like playing outside. Whatever physical activity your child participates in, it is important that parents are seen to be supportive of their child during fun activities. sometimes just showing up for training sessions is enough to keep a child motivated.
6. Encourage sports participation
Learn more about organized sports in your child’s school and in your neighborhood, and find out if there’s anything your child might like. Don’t worry if you don’t have any idea what sports your child likes – some kids like to sample a few different games before they develop a keen interest in any particular sport.
#Added tip: Minimize electronic distraction
Kids spend way too much time staring at a screen – whether it’s a cell phone, tablet, TV, or on the computer – and this can have a serious impact on their mental and physical health, and some experts have pointed out a lack of social skills that come from alienating oneself through technology.
Before you set out to introduce your child to the fun world of exercise and games, you have to deal with whatever is distracting them in the first place. You may have to take the computer or some of their games to get their attention, and then you can show them fun outdoor activities.
Lydia is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer at fitnessgoals, with a passion for writing and a love for chocolate. She enjoys long walks with a breeze and finding ways to make dessert healthy.