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When you were a kid, and certainly a teen, exercise didn’t always seem like fun. Of course, it doesn’t help when they hear us complain about having to go to the gym. Plus today’s kids would rather spend their time with their friends or online.
Unless your kids have an interest in a specific sport or physical hobby, they might see exercise as something that they have to do in PE class then something they want to do for enjoyment. In this case, they would probably rather avoid physical activities. They might even do their best to get out of physical activities at school if it’s not required of them.
If you think back, chances are you might have been the same when you were younger. We all had days where we just didn’t want to get changed for the PE class, and sometimes exercise felt like a kind of torture when it was a sport or activity we didn’t care for or weren’t particularly good at. It’s no wonder that adults don’t get as much physical activity as they should since we kind of felt forced to at school growing up.
But as we all know, exercise is a crucial part of a child’s development and growth. It keeps them strong and healthy and also improves mental health and creativity. Also, exercise offers an outlet, a chance to meet new people, a way to reduce stress, and it ensures that our children don’t spend all of their time on YouTube or social media. But, when it’s the last thing that they want to do, how do you make your kids are more active?
Don’t call it “exercise”
If your child doesn’t like gym class, they might not enjoy being told that they have to exercise. So, I recommend not using the word exercise if you want to get kids more active. Tell them that you are going to have fun playing a game or outside. Making is a fun activity instead of stressing that it’s “exercise” is a much better strategy to get kids more active. Also, try to avoid other related terms like a workout!
Try new sports together
Exercise doesn’t have to be the boring gym classes that your kids have to do at school. It can be almost any kind of physical situation that gets kids more active.
One of the best ways to encourage your kids to be more active is to do an activity with them or at least have an invested interest in it. For example, get involved in a sport where you can spend time together designing gear like custom wrestling singlets or a surfboard. This can make an activity or sport more interesting and fun.
Or you can try an everyday activity like skateboarding or ice skating. Maybe take them to see a hockey game or volleyball tournament to see if it piques their interest. Look for classes in your local area, and especially things that you could try, or at least watch, together. Make exercise a fun family activity, instead of a chore that they have to complete.
It’s also worth thinking outside the box. Don’t just try popular sports. Look for other things. You might all enjoy a family hike or bike ride, or they might love to line dance. Try things that are new to all of you.
Play at outside often
If you are moving, you are being active. You’re burning calories, getting a workout and giving yourself a great chance at getting a good night’s sleep. These movements don’t need to come from formal exercises or sports. Playing in the park, running around your garden, fun at the beach, riding bikes in the street, or playing soccer in your front yard are all great ways to be more active and have more fun.
Walk & explore more
When we’ve got young kids, it’s tempting to drive even short distances to make life easier. But, that would definitely be a missed opportunity to get kids more active. Stop driving short distances, take the kids for walks instead, making it fun, chatting, playing games, and exploring your local neighborhood.
Make physical activity FUN!
Probably the best & easiest way to get kids more active is to make it fun. When kids are laughing & playing, even in an organized activity, they won’t even care that they are getting exercise.
Next time you’re outside with your kids, create an activity for them. You could set up an obstacle course the involves running, jumping, throwing, & balance skills. Better yet, invite some neighbor kids over and make it a relay race.
Water play is another great idea that they love and is sure to get kids’ activity. Jumping over sprinkles and running for the slip & slide are perfect ways to get moving and stay cool.
No matter which strategy you use to get your kids more active, know that you are being a wonderful role-model by encouraging them to have a life-long love for physical activity.
➵ I’d love to find out what are some fun or unique ways that you get your kids to be more active? Let me know in the comments below ❀