As parents, our main responsibility is to nurture our children to grow into healthy and respectful adults. Regardless of their age, children should be encouraged to exercise every day, which can help keep their weight in check, as well as reduce the risk of diseases like cancer later on in life.
Getting your kids to be more physically active is easier said than done without the right resources and techniques behind you, so here are some effective strategies on how to encourage your children to exercise.
Be a Role Model
Children tend to follow their parents’ lead, so if you’re the type of person who lounges on the couch all day, you’re not setting the best example for your children. You can’t expect your kids to commit to exercise if you aren’t doing so yourself, so being a good role model and teaching them the importance of physical activity is key. Even if you struggle at first to get active, there are tons of health benefits that you will gain too. There are many reasons why kids need to move, so setting a good example from the start is crucial.
Make Exercise Fun
Kids need to be stimulated and entertained when exercising if you have any chance of them staying committed to it. There are lots of fun activities that your kids can try out, which will make them associate exercise with excitement. Whether you turn some music on and have a dance party or factor in plenty of walking during trips to the park or zoo, your kids are far more likely to stick with exercise if they enjoy it.
Use Competition as a Motivator
Lots of children love competition and having an end goal in place, so making contests between you and your kids to see who can do more jumping jacks or run faster will help them stay focused on exercising. Giving the winner a prize and rewarding them for their efforts will make your child more determined to carry on. There is technology that you can use like a pedometer, which tracks your child’s progress and results.
In the social media age we live in, many children know of or have their own account on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. While there are some benefits that social media can bring to your kids, if they’re the type to sit behind a screen all day, this will do them more harm than good. If you’re serious about getting your kids to do exercise, it’s important that you limit TV and computer time. Although your child may kick up a fuss initially, getting them interested in a hobby or sport will soon take their mind off things.
Involve the Whole Family
If you have an only child, they may be reluctant to exercise on their own. Inviting the whole family to partake in activities can be a great bonding experience and is one of the most successful strategies to change your child’s exercise habits.
Regular exercise has tons of health benefits for your kids, helping to improve their fitness levels, giving them an opportunity to socialize with others, as well as improve academic scores. If you have any concerns about your child’s health, encouraging physical activity can be a great way to improve their fitness.