There are invaluable benefits that your children will gain from being physically active. Alongside improving fitness, increasing concentration, and building stronger bones and muscles, regular exercise is key for encouraging the healthy development and growth of your child.
With research indicating that only 1 in 3 children are getting enough exercise each day, if your kids don’t fall into this statistic, here are a few ways to encourage them to be more physically active.
Find Fun Activities
For your child to stay motivated and dedicated to exercise, it’s important that they find a sport or activity that they enjoy doing.
The more benefits they get out of an activity, the better chance you have of them sticking to it. To bring the family closer together, you can get everyone involved in sports such as baseball, tennis, and swimming.
If your child sees exercise as a chore rather than fun, it’s likely that they will lose motivation.
Choose Developmentally Appropriate Activities
When your child is being physically active, it’s important that they pick activities that are age-appropriate.
Understandably, an 8-year-old child will not be ready for lifting weights, nor going on a 3-mile run, however, sports like soccer, swimming, and bike riding are appropriate for all ages and stages of development.
Many kids are going virtual with gym activities that they can perform from home too.
Provide a Safe Environment
Whether it’s in the comfort of your own home, the back yard, or at a park, any exercise and equipment that your child uses needs to be monitored, helping to keep them safe.
The clothing that your child wears for exercise should be appropriate and comfortable too. As a parent, the last thing you want is for your child to get an injury, so keeping a close eye on them during exercise is essential.
With social media platforms like TikTok dominating our young children’s minds, it’s important that you limit distractions and encourage physical activity instead.
If your child spends most of their free time surfing the internet or watching television, make sure that you limit their screen time and show them the health benefits they can gain from regular exercise.
Children like to follow their parent’s behavior, so being a good role model and speaking about physical activity in a popular light will encourage your kids to be more active.
Don’t Overdo Things
Once your child is ready to begin physical activity, remember to tell them how important it is to listen to their body.
Unlike adults, children may not be aware of their limits, so if you find that they are in pain when exercising, you should tell your child to slow down or pick an activity that’s less vigorous.
If you are worried about your child’s weight, or you find that their exercise is beginning to interfere with other activities and school, speak to your child’s doctor.
Children’s minds are like sponges, so encouraging physical activity from a young age will push them in the right direction, helping to keep them happy, fit, and healthy.