8 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Be Physically Active
Here’s an interesting stat that might surprise you a little bit. Out of all the children in our society, only 1 in 3 is physically active each day.
I must admit, I had to take a double-take when I first read that statistic. Probably because I assumed that all kids took part in some form of physical activity each day? However, this is not the case.
Also, when they do finally take part in physical education, sports, and games. Only 50% of that time involves any form of physical activity.
So to say, that encouraging our kids to be physically active is an understatement.
I would provide more startling statistics, but I think you get the picture.
The amount of exercise a child gets is not only down to the school. A lot of it is down to us as parents. The idea is to encourage and show kids different ways to be active and to get them to understand the importance of it.
Here Are The Steps:
Talk To Your Child’s Doctor
This may seem like quite a drastic first step, however, whether you are looking to try and get fit yourself or trying to get your kids into exercise, it is always recommended that you go and visit your doctor first.
They are not necessarily experts on this topic, but they can make recommendations and suggest certain physical activities that could kick start the process.
Depending on how fit your child is, they can give you advice on the types of exercises that would best suit their fitness level.
Find A Fun Activity
This is going back to basics, but, finding a physical activity your kid actually enjoys is a bit of a cheat, but certainly works. If you think about it. It will be incredibly easy to get your kids to do something they like and enjoy.
The more they enjoy it, the more likely they will continue. In fact, it would be a fantastic idea to get the whole family involved too! What a great way to spend time together while they are exercising
Choose Exercises That Are Age-Appropriate
What exactly do I mean by “age-appropriate?” For example, if you are looking for exercises for kids under 10 years of age, then choosing exercises like weight lifting or 3 mile runs probably isn’t the best choice. However, encouraging them to play football, riding their bike and swimming would be perfect.
Of course, you know your children and what would be an adequate exercise for them to do. Just don’t try an exercise that would be too strenuous as they might not enjoy it and will likely avoid it.
I wrote about timing in a previous article and it is just as relevant for your kids too! Even though your kids don’t go to work, they have to attend school, have homework and after school activities. For that reason, you would need to plan their exercises around their current activities.
Provide A Safe Environment
This one goes without saying, but if you are going to introduce certain exercises for your kids, then ensuring they have safe equipment in a safe environment is vital. Also, make sure that the clothing your kids are wearing is comfortable and appropriate for the exercise they are doing.
Provide Active Toys
Toys are fun and your kids will have hours of fun with them. However, you could also be a little bit more strategic in your toy purchases such as purchasing jump ropes, balls, frisbees, etc.
At least that way they will be having fun while exercising at the same time. Now, don’t get me wrong, they don’t ALL have to be active toys, just a select few.
Be A Role Model
Again, this is another one that goes without saying since by default you are a role model to your kids. But, you can go that one step further by setting a good example when it comes to being physically active.
If your kids regularly see you exercising and keeping active, they are likely to copy and mimic what you do. If you enjoy sports and exercising, then this can be a win, win. All you need to do is ensure your child is close by if you exercising at home.
Limit TV Time
I can see a lot of parents out there giving me a virtual “high five”. That’s because we all want our kids to watch a lot less TV than they do. We also want them to reduce the amount of time they spend playing video games too.
By encouraging them to watch less TV and play video games, that time needs to be filled up somehow. That’s where more active exercise comes in.
The more time you can free up, the more time you have to do more important things with your kids.
As you can see, there are various ways you can encourage your kids to be more physically active. You don’t need to do all of these examples. Simply pick the ones that are the right fit for you.
The only advice I would give is not to overdo. After all, they are kids and all of the time playing and enjoying themselves is part of being a kid.
The exercises shouldn’t or be strenuous in any way. If your kid starts to feel any pain or is uncomfortable with a certain exercise, then it’s advisable to choose a different exercise and find something they are more comfortable with.
Note: If you are unsure about any of the point written in this post, check with your family doctor who is more qualified to answer any questions or queries you might have.