For parents, it can be a difficult task to get their kids to participate in physical activity. It’s not that they don’t want them to exercise — on the contrary, most of us would like our kids to be as fit and healthy as possible — but there are just some things you have to do as a parent. In this article, I will show you how you can encourage your child to be physically active.
1. Set A Good Example With Physical Activity
If you want your child to be physically active, then do it yourself. If you want your kid to take up swimming or cycling, go out with him or her. Don’t worry about what others think — they will either admire you or think you are crazy (hopefully the former).
The same goes for other forms of physical activity too. You need to practice these activities yourself if you want your kid to follow suit. The best way is to start out slowly, by taking a short walk or riding your bike around the block once a day. This will make sure your kid sees you being active and hopefully inspires him to be more active too. As time progresses, increase the frequency, duration, and intensity of your workouts. Your kid will naturally begin asking questions about why you run so fast or jump off the diving board at the pool. And when he does ask, answer his question honestly. Tell him that you do this because it makes you feel better and that you know he enjoys watching you play sports. But keep in mind that he might also enjoy playing sports with his friends, so don’t tell him that you are doing this because you want to “beat them all.”
2. Make Exercise Fun With Toys
You know how it feels when you go out for a jog? Or when you try something new for the first time? Well, imagine trying something different with your kids. What if you took up karate with your son? Or tried rock climbing with your daughter? Kids love toys, and if you use toys to engage their interest, they will surely join in!
There are lots of exciting toy-based games you can play with your kids. For example, you can set up a soccer field with a ball for your toddler, or make a bowling alley with two balls for older kids. There are many great ideas online, and even better ones from your local toy store. Just make sure they are safe for your kids to play with.
3. Get Them Involved With Sports
Sports are fun for everyone, but especially for kids. They will love learning new skills and developing new muscle groups when they are young. They will definitely become stronger, faster and fitter than before. So, if you are looking for ways to encourage your child to be physically active, then sign them up for a team sport or learn to play an instrument instead of joining a dance class.
If you are worried about whether your child needs any equipment, you can always check with the coach or director of the sport. Chances are they will give you the necessary equipment if your child needs it. Alternatively, you could buy some cheap equipment online and let your child practice on his own.
In addition to sports, you can also introduce your child to martial arts. Martial arts teaches self-defense techniques and teaches discipline. Even though they are usually only practiced by adults, martial arts can be beneficial for kids too. Check with your local community center, school, or online sources like Gsp to learn more about all this.
4. Let Them Do Their Own Thing
When we were little, we used to spend hours playing outside. We would ride bikes, build sandcastles, catch fireflies, swing and climb trees. Nowadays, we often stay cooped up inside most of the time. Our kids won’t have any idea what it was like to be outdoors without screens, and they may never experience the joy of swinging on the monkey bars. To encourage your child to be physically active, you should let them explore the world on their own terms.
It might seem scary now, but you can help ease their fears gradually. Start small — let your kid sit on a swing on their own, or give them a free pass to roam around the neighborhood. Then, as they get bigger, allow them to play with others, and finally let them venture away from home. If you still worry about safety, then make sure you have a plan in place for emergencies.
To sum it up, here are four easy ways to encourage your child to be physically active:
Set a good example by being active yourself,
Make exercise fun with toys,
Get them involved with sports, and
Let them do their own thing.
With a firm foundation and some encouragement, your child will certainly reap the benefits of being active. And if you are a parent, you know that it isn’t always easy to get them to do the right thing. These tips will hopefully provide some inspiration to help you along the way.