One of the struggles that most of us parents have is thinking of ways to get kids to be more active! We all know that being physically active is beneficial to our health, but with our hectic schedules, it can be difficult to find the time. Our children face the same difficulties. They have school, schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and then there are the temptations of t.v, video, and electronic games, and if they have their own mobile, iPod, or iPad, they have quick access to not only games and movies, but also the rise of social media for kids.
Today’s children spend more than 30 hours per week on average in front of a screen. That’s a lot of information. Many children do not get the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day.
Here are some ways you can get your kids to be more active:
Be A Role Model
While many parents live by the motto, “Do as I say, not as I do,” we as parents have a greater impact on our children by modelling the healthy behaviours we want them to have. Make time for exercise in your daily or weekly schedule, and show your children that you are doing so. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, according to national guidelines, so try to do something active for at least 30 minutes five days a week. If you are active, your children will most likely be active as well.
Encourage Them To Join Organized Physical Activities
Encourage your children to participate in sports such as netball, football, hockey, and rugby, as well as the swimming team. If they are not interested in sports, perhaps they will enjoy dance, gymnastics, or yoga. When children participate in a sport that they enjoy with other kids will keep your child engaged and motivated to maintain their activity level. They’ll also enjoy the social aspects of good teamwork. Swimming lessons are a great option to add to the list.
Find Free Physical Activity
Organized activities can be costly with all of the equipment and fees, so they aren’t always feasible. However, that doesn’t mean your children can’t get enough physical activity. And then there are times when it is simply a matter of finding the time. If your work schedule prevents you from getting junior to regular football practices and games, you’ll need to get more creative about fitting in more flexible physical activity for your children.
Here are some suggestions:
- Go on a family bike ride
- Go to the park with the dog
- Go for a walk
- Play tag
Any physical activity is preferable to none, so keep your children moving in any way you can.
Help Your Kids Find Their Passion
Your child will be more likely to stick with an activity if they are truly passionate about it, so help them to discover what they truly enjoy doing. Any physical activity is beneficial, whether it is baseball, dancing, or hiking. Remember that they don’t have to be the best at their chosen activity; what matters is that they enjoy it and want to do it on a regular basis.
Make Exercise A Priority
Life is busier than ever these days, and it can be difficult to find time for it. And you won’t if you don’t prioritize it. If it is important to you that both you and your children stay active, you will make time for it in your schedule. Pull out your planner and make a note of it in your calendar.
I hope these ways to get kids to be more active has helped. Overall, the most important thing to remember is that a better and healthier body and mind require both a balanced diet and regular exercise. Without the other, neither will be as effective. Teaching your kids that what they eat or how much they move their bodies are both important, and that the earlier they begin, the better. Keep in mind, however, that while developing healthy habits at a young age is ideal, it is never too late to start. So, regardless of your children’s age, get them moving today.