Regular exercise has numerous health benefits for children and young people. Whether it’s improved fitness, increased concentration, or improving academic scores at school, kids need physical activity to grow and develop into healthy and well-rounded adults.
If you’re a parent, you will know only too well how hard it can be to motivate your kids to exercise. While smartphones and tablets have some advantages, many kids spend most of their free time glued behind a screen, which can prove damaging in the long run. So, here are five ways on how to encourage your offspring to be more physically active.
Set a Good Example
You may not realize it, but children look up to their parents and follow their lead. If you are concerned about your child’s health, the best way to encourage physical activity is by leading by example and exercising yourself. Once your children see you exercising, they will be more likely to try it out themselves. Make sure that you speak about exercise in a positive light, otherwise, your kids may be reluctant to start.
Focus on Fun
Kids’ attention spans are very short. So, if they don’t like a particular activity, they’re likely to lose interest and throw a tantrum. No one wants to deal with a screaming child, which is why you should focus on fun and pick exercises that your kids will enjoy. Whether it’s taking up a sport, going for a run, or afterschool programs, you need to sit down with your kids and discuss the types of activities they’re interested in.
Involve the Whole Family
A great way to bond with your kids while reaping the benefits of exercise is doing it together. There are tons of exercises that you can all partake in, which will boost energy levels, improve stamina, and help you think more positively. If your child needs a helping hand to get started with exercise, being there for encouragement and support can help.
Include Your Kids in Household Chores
Children and mess go hand in hand. So, if you’re a proud homeowner, there are many household chores that you will need to perform each day to keep it looking clean and tidy. If your children are old enough, you can get them involved in household chores. Whether it’s cleaning the bathroom, sweeping the kitchen floor, or tidying their bedroom, including your kids in household activities is a fantastic opportunity to sneak in some physical exercise.
If your kids use smartphones and tablets, luring them away from such devices can be hard work. Therefore, providing incentives for doing exercise can be a great way to boost their motivation and make them commit to physical activity. The blue light from screens can affect their sleep, mood, and behavior, which is why your kids should spend more time outdoors in the fresh air, rather than sitting on the couch.
Nurturing your kids to exercise and eat healthily will help with their development and boost productivity levels. If you have any concerns, putting any of the tips above into practice can be a great way to encourage physical activity.