Physical activity helps children maintain a healthy way, grow strong bones and discover the world that exists outside their smartphones and social media. All children should be physically active for at least one hour every day. You can help your children get the exercise they need by finding activities that they will love and that will keep them interested.
Children tend to spend a lot of time with activities that don’t require a whole lot of physical movement, like watching television and playing video games. Think of exercise as a way of leading an active lifestyle and encourage your children to get up and move about. We know that time is precious and schedules are busy, but it is important you instill the virtues of exercise in your children. Here are a few ways that will make this easier.
Children love video games, so if you take them to an interactive fitness center, there is a high likelihood they will love it. Introduce them to active floor games, interactive climbing and dance and step games and they will want to play all of the time.
Join the Game
Kids love when their parents play with them, so one way to encourage them to exercise is by participating with them. A family hike is a good starting point. From there, you can go on bike rides together, play basketball or hopscotch together and maybe even a little touch football or jump rope. Really, the possibilities are endless and you don’t need a bunch of expensive equipment.
Limit Screen Time
Limit the amount of time your kids watch television or spend on their smartphones or computers, unless it’s homework related of course. To help in this cause, remove television sets from bedrooms and put computers in rooms where kids can be better supervised. Tell your children to let go from these passive pastimes and encourage them to go outside and move about by playing, working or even walking the dog.
Set an example by limiting your time in front of the television. If you have to binge-watch that new Netflix show, do so after the kids have been put to bed.
Praise your kids when they do a flip on the monkey bars or successfully make a basket. Even if they miss that shot or fall when they flip on the monkey bars, acknowledge their effort as this will go a long way in building confidence.
Forcing children to go outside and exercise might backfire. If this happens, your children will view exercise in a negative light. Instead, use physical activity as a reward. For example, tell your child they can take a break from homework by going outside and playing for 15 minutes.
Establish a Routine
Your children’s exercise routine should be listed right there in your daily calendar. Their exercise plan should fall right after the phone meeting with a client and before grocery shopping. After awhile, you children accept this routine and actually like it.