We all understand how important physical activity is for our mind and body, so if you’re a parent and have concerns about how much exercise your child is getting, it may be time to try new strategies. With a mountain of schoolwork, extracurricular activities and distractions like social media getting in the way, it may be difficult to get your child moving at home. To help, here are 5 things you can do.
Be a Good Role Model
As a parent, you will find that your children look up to you and follow your lead. The actions you take and the lifestyle you lead can have a knock-on effect with your offspring, so if you want your kids to be more active, it’s important that you conduct regular exercise yourself. If you’re a couch potato and don’t like the idea of physical activity, you can’t expect your kids to get stuck in, so being a good role model and showing your child the importance and benefits of regular exercise is critical.
Whether it’s social media, the television, or video games, there are tons of distractions around the home that can make your child disinterested in exercise. If your children spend every waking hour glued to a screen, being exposed to blue light can have a damaging impact on their health and wellbeing, so while you shouldn’t eliminate distractions altogether, reducing their screen time is crucial. If you’re having difficulty motivating your children to exercise, rewarding them with television time can act as an incentive.
Choose the Right Activity
Finding the right activity for your child to participate in will be the difference between them staying motivated and losing interest. There are tons of sports and activities that your child may be interested in, so giving them the freedom to make their own choice is important. There are several factors to consider before picking an activity, such as the amount of space you have in your home and whether you have the budget for any sports equipment.
Involve the Whole Family
To keep your children engaged with exercise, why not involve the whole family? If you all come together as a team, this can spur your kids on to stay motivated. There are activities you and your kids can do from the comfort of your living room, such as a Skillastics virtual physical activity program. Exercising together can be a great way to bond with your kids and make everlasting memories.
Focus on Fun
Even if your children are aware of all the health benefits that they can gain from regular exercise, they still may not be motivated to get started, which is why you need to focus on fun and make the experience enjoyable and pleasurable. If your kids get satisfaction from exercise, they’re more likely to continue.
Children who are physically active can reduce their risk of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes, strengthen their cardiovascular system, and boost their immune system. As mentioned above, there are lots of strategies that you can take which can encourage your child to be more active.
What Are Some Benefits of Being Active?
Kids’ bodies can do the things they want and need them to do when they are active. Why? Because regular exercise has the following advantages:
- Solid bones and muscles
- Adequate weight
- Lower chance of getting type 2 diabetes
- Better rest
- A more positive outlook on life
Children who are physically active are also more likely to be inspired, concentrated, and successful in school. Additionally, developing physical prowess boosts confidence at any age.
What Inspires Children?
There are many benefits to regular physical activity, but how do you get kids interested in it?
There are three keys:
- A child may become bored or frustrated if you don’t choose the appropriate activities for their age.
- Providing kids with plenty of opportunities to exercise: Children need their parents to make exercise simple for them by providing equipment, enrolling them in sports or academic programs, and taking them to playgrounds and other active places.
- Focusing on having fun: Children won’t engage in activities they find boring.
Kids want to engage in an activity more often when they enjoy it. Whether it’s swimming or riding a tricycle, practicing a skill enhances one’s abilities and gives one a sense of accomplishment, especially when the effort is recognized and applauded. Kids frequently want to continue the activity and even try others because of these positive feelings.
No matter their fitness preferences, all children can be physically fit. A child who is reluctant to exercise will benefit from their parents’ upbeat attitude.
While supporting your children’s interests, keep yourself active. If you start this early enough, your children will grow to see activity as a regular—and enjoyable—part of your family’s daily routine.