With so many fun and interesting things to do indoors, it can be a challenge to encourage kids to exercise. Surfing the Internet, watching television and playing video games are the favorite pastimes of today's kids. Here are some tips that will help you motivate your children and get them moving.
- You must make exercise a part of your lifestyle. This means that you have to exercise, too. With our busy lifestyles, it is sometimes hard to take the time we should to exercise. However, if we want to show our children that exercise is important, the best way to teach them is to lead by example. If they see you taking an interest in getting fit, they will be more inclined to do so, too.
- Understand that the earlier children are introduced to physical activity, the more inclined they will be to make exercise a part of their personal lifestyles as they grow and mature. Most young children are excited and easy to motivate. If your child is already in their teen years, don't despair. It is not too late to get them interested in physical activities. Despite what many parents think, teens are impacted by the actions of their parents. It may take your teen a while to see that you are serious about exercising and getting fit. But, once they see that you are, they will generally follow suit.
- You should allow children to pick and choose what form of physical activity they want to engage in. Talk to your child to learn what his or her interests are. Exercise doesn't have to mean doing sit-ups or jogging. The key is to simply get your child's body moving. One child may want to dance or bicycle, while another may prefer to roller skate or jump on the trampoline. Very young children can benefit from tricycles, jump ropes, or playing hopscotch. A simple game of kick-ball or throwing a frisbee is an easy way to get a younger child moving. Older teens may be motivated by joining a local sport's team, health club or enrolling in a dance class. Find out what your child would like to do and make the necessary arrangements for them to be able to do it.
- Lastly, make physical activities a part of your family's life. Take your family outdoors to places that are fun and beneficial to everyone's health. This can be simply walking your pets through a dog park, going water or snow skiing, taking nature walks, or hiking in a national park. When a family learns how to be active together, bonds, relationships and even muscles are strengthened.