Like every adult, children must be physically active for good overall health. Exercise has many benefits for a child’s body, like promoting growth and development, so it should be encouraged every day. There is also sufficient evidence to suggest that physical activity can improve test scores, grade point averages, and critical thinking skills. Unfortunately, in this tech-obsessed world, getting children to move can be quite difficult. As a parent, it is your responsibility to help your kids live healthy lives. With that in mind, here are ten effective ways to encourage exercise.
- Be A Good Example
Most children don’t listen to their parents. When mom or dad asks a child to do something, kids typically shut their ears and look the other way. However, they do learn from their parents’ actions. From a very young age, children mimic what their parents do and follow their example. That is why your kids must see you enjoying sports and physical activity. Exercising will set a good example for your kids and show them exactly what must be done to lead a healthy life.
- Look For Fun Activities
The more a child enjoys exercise, the more exercise they will want to do. Because of this, you must help your little one find an activity they genuinely love. Get the entire family involved and have everyone suggest different sports and activities your child could try out. Football, dance, swimming, and cycling are just a few exercises your child could consider. Parents often try to push their children towards sports that they love themselves, but that won’t have good results.
- Make A Safe Environment
Although exercise is essential, your child shouldn’t put their health at risk to do it. Instead, you must provide a safe environment for your little one to work out. Every piece of equipment must be tested, and your child should wear clothing comfortable and appropriate for the activity. Make sure you also explain to your child that exercise shouldn’t hurt. While an activity doesn’t have to be easy, your little one shouldn’t be working out while in physical pain and must instead stop.
- Turn Off The Television
A child shouldn’t spend more than two hours watching television or playing video games each day. Unfortunately, most kids get double or more screen time than that. When your child is wasting time in front of the television, they’re wasting time they could otherwise use to exercise. For this reason, you must limit your child’s screen time, preferably to the recommended couple of hours. Any extra free time your child has could then be spent playing sports or swimming.
- Give An Active Present
Birthdays, Christmases, and other special occasions are an ideal opportunity to encourage exercise. When giving gifts for these occasions, you must choose the presents wisely. Rather than buying a games console, for example, you could give your child a bike. This would get them away from the TV and out of the house. If you want to buy a console, then look into the best kids’ VR games. Although a video game wouldn’t usually be suggested, VR gaming is very active.
- Use Any Household Chores
Household chores not only teach responsibility to children but can be incredibly physical. Walking the dog, washing the car, and mowing the lawn are all examples of tasks that could get your child on their feet and outside. However, you shouldn’t give these chores as a punishment. This will only create a negative view of them and exercise overall. Instead, get the entire family involved and make the activities fun. You could even consider handing over money for the work.
- Switch Up The Schedule
Between homework and other after-school commitments, many children have little time to breathe, not to mention exercise. If your child’s schedule is especially overwhelming, then you should find ways to resolve this. Removing one or two activities would be the best solution, so speak to your child about which commitments they enjoy the most. You could also speak to your child’s teacher about the amount of homework and see if you can come to a compromise.
- Walk To School Daily
Mornings are often incredibly busy, especially when you have children. Not only might you have to get ready for work, but your little ones need to go to school too. It’s because of this that many parents save time by driving their kids to school. If you have a little more free time in the morning, then you could walk your children to school instead. This is an excellent habit to get into at a young age because it incorporates exercise into daily life without requiring a huge commitment.
- Speak With The Teachers
When your children spend most days at school, the teachers must do their part in keeping them physically active. Every school should provide quality physical education at a sufficient quantity. Ideally, the school will have a PE expert who knows how to engage kids of all ages and abilities, nourishing their love of exercise. Having only one PE lesson a week isn’t nearly enough to keep little ones healthy. If you have any concerns, make sure you bring them up with the teachers.
- Visit The Family Doctor
Everyone knows that children usually ignore their parents. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean that they ignore all adults. For this reason, you should take your child to visit your doctor. Having an expert explain why your little one needs exercise might be enough to get them to listen. They can also suggest certain activities that might suit your kids, as well as other healthy tips. Make sure you take your children for regular check-ups, too, so you can monitor their overall health.
Being a parent isn’t easy, particularly when exercise is concerned. Many children would much rather watch cartoons all day than run around a park. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up. With the advice above, you should be able to encourage your children to be active.