Helping Your Children Stay Active

When it comes to getting your children active, sometimes that can be a challenge. I’ve put together a list of tips to help your children stay active and most of these will work for all ages:

  • They need something that CLICKS for them. Just like us, they need something that clicks for them. Something they find fun or that at least isn’t torture for them. What is your child interested in? How could you use that to get them motivated?
    • Let’s say your child is interested in a certain show, how could you use that show to create activities that give your child an opportunity to exercise?
  • Make it a game. Make a game out of housework, see who can get done first. Make a game out of yard work such as rewards or fun activities afterwards. Scavenger hunts are also a great way to have fun while being active.
  • Be involved. Sometimes just doing something active with an adult loved one can thrill them- play a sport, play catch with a baseball or Frisbee, take a walk, race them, go on a hike together, take them to the playground and actually play with them, or anything else you can think of. The opportunities are endless. I know I loved taking walks with my mom and playing games with other family members.
  • Involve them in your exercise. Bring them on a walk with you when you’re already heading out, invite them to join you in the  races you want to do or the training itself. Invite them to do an exercise video with you.
  • Exercise as a family. This goes along with involving them or being involved, but making exercise a family bonding experience is another good way to help them build healthy exercise habits. Kids may act like they hate family time, and some may indeed hate it, but they will grow up to cherish those moments.
    • Some other family exercise ideas besides the ones mentioned above, is a squirtgun fight, swimming at a local pool if you have one, bike rides, collecting fall leaves for projects, searching for certain animals or nature items, etc.
  • Take them to the gym if you can. Kids fitness classes, or if they’re old enough according to your gym’s rules, you can ask about them exercising on the main floor. Going to the gym can be fun as a kid and seems like a huge privilege for them.

Most of all, just make it as fun as you can and be involved. Don’t make them exercise unless it’s a family outing and they need to be with you. You want to create a positive mental image of exercise for them so they don’t grow up dreading it.

When you explain exercise, do your best to sound excited and happy about it. It’s catching and they will see that you like it. At the very least, being happy about it yourself communicates to them that exercise is a good thing that their parents enjoy.

~Bonnie~

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