How to Motivate Your Children to Be Physically Active
In today’s hyper-technological climate, it can be a challenge to make sure kids are getting enough exercise. Just getting your children to put down their phones spend a little time outside each day can be a hard enough task without bringing health factors into it. However, exercise doesn’t have to feel like a chore for kids. There are plenty of ways to integrate fitness and physical activity into everyday life without making it feel like a strain. For tips on how to raise healthy kids, read on.
Make Fitness Social
Spending time on fitness doesn’t have to be a painful, isolating activity. If your kids already love hanging out with friends after school, it can be a perfect way to integrate physical activity into their routine. Encourage your kids to invite friends over to play outside or engage in sports. If friends are around, it will be that much easier to encourage your kid to put down the iPad and spend some time moving around. Even if your kid isn’t especially social, engaging in team sports outside of school can be a great way to make friends and encourage social connections.
Engage the Whole Family
Taking a bit of time out of your day to devote to exercise is a perfect way to get your kid up and moving. Even if you only spend five minutes before or after dinner to do a few exercises outside or some family yoga in the living, you’ll be carving out time to spend with your kid and giving them a reason to look forward to exercising. When physical activity means togetherness, it feels like less of a chore and more of an exciting, engaging part of the day. If you want to take it to the next level, consider researching some kids fitness tracker brands to find the best device for keeping track of your kid’s activity.
Most kids have some interest in a physical activity, whether it’s swimming or competitive sports or even just running around the block. Whatever your kid is interested in, encourage it. Sign them up for an afterschool class, and encourage a healthy level of competition. If your kid feels like they’re engaging in something that will make you proud, they’ll be that much more committed to making their practice a part of the daily routine.
Create a Reward System
Sometimes, kids need that extra little boost to get them going. If you set up a reward system for your kid, such as a trade-off of exercise time for TV privileges, you’ll be giving your kid that extra incentive to commit to exercise. Even if you start out by offering incentives or setting goals, most likely it won’t be long before your kid starts to see the value in spending time outside and active. Once physical activity becomes part of the routine, there’s a good chance your child will start to push themselves and begin setting their own goals.
Take It Step By Step
Remember: Getting your kids to exercise is a process. It’s not going to happen overnight, and most likely it’s not going to happen without a struggle. It’s normal to experience a bit of push back at first, especially when your kid isn’t used to the idea of being asked to exercise daily. That’s why it’s important to start out with small, achievable goals. Setting the bar low will help establish exercise as part of everyday life, and it will make it less painful and less of a strain.
Expecting too much of your child will most likely make them want to give up right away. If you set the bar low, with a regimen of about five minutes of exercise a day, chances are your child will meet the challenge. From there, you can start implementing a more challenging workout schedule. After your kid has gotten used to having some amount of exercise in their daily routine, bring up the possibility of targeted activities, classes, or team sports. Give your child as much choice in the matter as you possibly can, and soon they’ll be the ones initiating daily exercise.
Limit Technology Time
When there are fewer distractions available to kids, they’ll end up making their own fun. If you stay strict about limiting your child’s daily amount of screen time, chances are they’ll end up entertaining themselves on their own with outdoor games and physical activity. Try to wean your kids off their technology addiction by making screen time a special treat or perk, not a go-to when it comes to after school time.