Does it feel like a struggle to get your kids up and moving? Does it seem like they are content to just sit in front of the TV watching shows or playing video games all day? While there’s nothing wrong with a little screen time, being active is essential to their physical and mental health. Rather than find yourself involved in a fight each time you suggest they get moving, here are four positive ways you can encourage your kids to be more active. Over time, you may find that you can take a step back and they start to take the initiative in terms of exercise.
Get the Whole Family Involved
One of the best ways you can encourage kids to be more active is to get off the sidelines yourself and take part in the activity. If you frame it as a family activity, then it has a more positive feel to it. It’s not about singling them out and making them “exercise”. This also encourages good health for the entire family, not just kids. Some fun family activities that will get everyone up and moving can include:
- in the backyard or inside the house
- A homemade obstacle course
- Dance party
The key is to be consistent and try to fit in at least a couple of physical activities each week. You can also do a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities.
Invest In Sports Equipment
It may also be worth investing in some sports equipment that will help them to improve their skills and get excited about the game. If your child has an interest in baseball and you take them to the batting cages regularly, you could check out these which will make them feel like a pro and give them better traction. You can even take the mat to your local park or use it in the backyard, wherever they practice their swing. Other sports equipment you can invest in includes:
Nets (soccer, hockey, basketball, or badminton net)
The proper footwear for the sport
Protective equipment (helmet, shin pads/guards, elbow pads etc.)
Sport–specific gloves (catcher’s mitt, batting gloves, soccer goalkeeper gloves, golf gloves or any other type)
When your child feels like they’ve got the right equipment to engage in sports, they are more likely to want to take part in it.
Make Time in the Schedule
Parents can be guilty of over-booking the schedule from time to time, which will make it very hard to squeeze physical activity in the mix. Make sure that you give kids enough time to be active and not feel rushed through their activities. This could mean cutting back on commitments and other errands. It’s all about prioritizing physical health.
Don’t Push Them Too Far
Because the goal is to approach physical activity in a positive light, you want to be sure you don’t push them too far. This means you don’t overdo it, exhaust them, or put too high expectations on them. Be sure to pick activities that are ideal for their age group and skill level and fill them with confidence. Kids shouldn’t be forced to work out until they feel pain; if they are in pain, it’s too much and too intense for them. This is a sign that they need to slow down.
If you’re close to giving up on getting your kids up and moving, it’s time to stop, clear your mind and use these techniques to frame physical activity in a positive light.