Kids need to be fit for the same reasons adults do: to improve their health and ensure that their bodies function properly. Regular exercise promotes healthy growth, develops essential motor skills, and boosts self-esteem. More often than not, kids become very passive, especially in these Covid times. The outdoors have become a fantasy land and screen time is the new pastime. In a setup like this, it is tricky thinking about how to get kids to exercise.
There’s lots of evidence that shows exercise is a necessary key to reducing our risk of major illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Why do the kids need to exercise? Here is why!
Kids should have many chances to do various physical activities, sports, and games that fit their personality, ability, age, and interests. Through physical activities and exercise, kids learn about sportsmanship, setting goals, meeting challenges, teamwork, and the value of practice, putting your child on a lifetime path to better health and fitness.
How to Get Kids to Exercise and Keep Them Motivated
It is challenging to motivate your children to participate in regular exercise. The lack of physical activity increases the chances of developing obesity and other severe health conditions. Please take advantage of your child’s natural tendency to be active and incorporate fitness into everyday life. Most kids won’t mind a daily dose of exercise as long as it’s fun. They should see it as play, not as forced exercise. It should be a part of their day they look forward to. But how do you encourage kids to do it?
The three keys are:
1. Choosing the appropriate physical activities for a child’s age : Exercise Tips for Kids
Certain physical activities may be deemed appropriate or inappropriate to a child’s “stage” or level of development. Choosing age-appropriate physical activities isn’t only about safety. It’s vital for their early year’s development. If you don’t choose the appropriate activities for a child’s age, the child may feel bored or frustrated. The right age-appropriate exercises allow children to express and enjoy themselves, explore their imaginations, and develop crucial skills. Organized sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, softball, baseball, gymnastics, and more at a young age aren’t necessary, but they are helpful once kids get old enough to learn the skills.
2. Giving kids plenty of opportunities to be active : Exercise Tips for Kids
The best way to develop a physical activity routine is by being a role model for your children. If they see you being physically active and having fun, they might grow to like it and stick with it. Sign up your children for
after-school programs or classes in an activity or sports teams, and take them to playgrounds and other active sports. Include children in family activities like walking the dog, washing the car, or cleaning the house. Similarly, involve the whole family in activities like dancing or playing a favorite sport. Whatever the workout or exercise, make sure your child uses appropriate protective equipment, including footwear and comfortable clothing.
3. Keeping it fun : Exercise Tips for Kids
Kids won’t do something they don’t enjoy. It’s important to encourage your child and find activities they enjoy. This way, your child will not find the exercise a chore, and they are more likely to stick to it. For kids to figure out what they do like, they need the opportunity to try a variety of activities. Exposure to many sports and activities early on—through camps, classes, or Physical Education, for example—can help kids identify the activities they enjoy doing. Consider the child’s personality if they are hesitant to do something new. For example, an introverted child might not enjoy team sports but may love the solitude of swimming. Get the entire family involved. It is a great way and a fun way to spend time together.
Exercise Tips for Kids and the Whole Family
One of the best ways to start enticing your kids to be active is to make sure you (as a parent) are being active yourself. You want to model the behavior of driving time and prioritizing health and regular exercise for your kids. It is essential to show them that their health, as well as yours, is something worth working on and working towards.
Here are a few easy tips for kids and their families on finding small windows of time during the day to sneak in that physical activity.
1. Make an Exercise Schedule
How to get kids to exercise? You and your children are more likely to exercise if you schedule it into your days. Set aside time for physical activity and get your kids outside after they get home from school. It’s a great time to be out and active — riding bikes, jumping rope, or playing tag with friends or other kids in the neighborhood. Some children are so overscheduled with homework, music lessons, and other planned activities that they do not have time for exercise, so make sure to plan and exercise.
2. Expose Your Child to a Variety of Physical Activities and Sports
Make sure to try various activities or sports until your children find a sport they enjoy, and look for opportunities for organized practice and training. Some kids naturally gravitate toward sports; others need encouragement. Involve them in several different activities, so they don’t tire of any one thing. Does your child love gymnastics, tennis, basketball, football, running, dancing, or one of the martial arts? One of the most popular exercise tips for kids is to sign them up for classes or seek out a team where they can get expert instruction and connect with others who enjoy the same activities.
3. Support Physical Education Programs in the Schools
Physical education is a course that focuses on developing physical fitness and the ability to perform and enjoy day-to-day physical activities with ease. Physical education provides cognitive content and instruction designed to develop motor skills, knowledge, physical activity, and fitness behaviors. Regular physical education classes prepare kids to be physically and mentally active, fit, and healthy into adulthood. These school physical education programs are successful when parents work together with the P.E teachers.
4. Create a Time for Family Exercise
Parents need to recognize that entertainment media, including televisions, computers, smartphones, and tablet computers, is everywhere, and without proper monitoring, children are quickly bombarded. Too much screen time may harm a child’s brain development and overall well-being, including obesity, inconsistent sleep, and problems with behavior and attention. It’s important to limit screen time every day so that there is more time to get in some physical activity. Kids pay close attention to how the adults in their lives act. If you enjoy activities together, you’re motivating your children by demonstrating that it’s fun for you, too. Go for a bike ride with your child. Kick a ball around. Explore a nearby park. Meanwhile, make opportunities for physical activity indoors if your child enjoys dancing, clear space, and put some music on. Make sure to create short-term and long-term goals for your family that is easily defined and realistic.
Exercise is not a chore as it is made out to be, it is an integral part of our lifestyle. It is imperative to teach our kids to learn and incorporate it while they are young.