Exercise is good for everyone, and everyone knows it.
In the context of a family, exercise is good for everyone in the family, including your children. Exercise in children has a variety of benefits including burning pent-up energy, aiding concentration, combatting childhood obesity, challenges coordination, better sleep, and strong bones and muscles. Healthy, physically active children also are more likely to be academically motivated, alert, and successful. And physical competence builds self-esteem at every age.
As we get older, the motivation for exercise tends to die down, due to things like time constraints, day-to-day work and school demands, and busy social lives. However, children get their motivation for exercise largely from their parents and getting your children interested in exercise isn’t as hard as it seems.
There are typically three key ways to get children interested in exercise:
1) Choosing the right activities for a child’s age – trying to get a child interested in a sport that is too old for them can leave them either bored or incredibly frustrated.
2) Giving kids plenty of opportunities to be active – parents can easily make activities available to children by providing equipment and regularly taking them to playgrounds and other activity spots
3) Focussing on fun – it’s essentially as simple as that. If a child is having fun, they will continue to do what they’re doing. If they’re bored or not enjoying the activity, they’ll stop very quickly.
Basic ways to get children active and interested:
1) Walk the dog – this is an easy activity that can be done by the whole family so it’s easy to implement and easy for children to enjoy. Take your family and the dog to an open field and let the dog loose. Your children can race with the dog and chase each other and burn a whole lot of energy at the same time.
2) Invite friends – if your child is motivated by spending time with their friends, get them involved too. Friends automatically mean they’re enjoying themselves making them more likely to exercise, even if they don’t realize it.
3) Get outside – playing a backyard game or walking around the block delivers a motivational twofer. Not only will the exercise make everyone feel better, but fresh air and sunshine are mood boosters as well.
4) Be sneaky – get your child to do chores that require physical activity but that are still fun. For example, gardening, or raking leaves will get their hearts pumping. Keep it fun by having a competition to see who can make the biggest pile of leaves. Then jump in the winning pile. Though the chore may end up taking twice as long to complete, the results will be worth it.