We all want what’s best for our children. Encouraging healthy eating habits and regular physical activity is a great place to start!
If your child isn’t interested in recreational sports, that doesn’t mean they can’t get their daily dose of exercise. Here are eight awesome ways to keep your child active and healthy that don’t require a team uniform.
Make it Fun
Kids are all about having fun and can you blame them? If you want your kids to participate in regular exercise, don’t make it a chore, make it a game!
There are countless ways to make physical activity fun, from swimming to playing catch or shooting hoops. Bike riding, taking walks, and even going on scavenger hunts or hosting relay races will get your child up and moving. When children are engaged in fun activities, they won’t even realize they’re exercising. If you need help purchasing equipment for these types of activities, a sports product blog can offer suggestions and reviews.
Though many of the activities listed above can be performed outdoors, there are some other ways to get outside and get active. Do you have yardwork or gardening to do? Involve your child! They can help rake leaves, weed, shovel snow, or even mow the grass if they’re old enough.
If your child is younger, rake the leaves into a pile and let them run and jump into the finished product. Have your child pick up any large sticks or branches scattered across the lawn. This will leave the grass clear for you to mow and will work their arms and legs. Sunshine will also provide your child a healthy dose of vitamin D.
Motivating your child to be active starts with positivity and encouragement. The last thing you want to do is compare your child to someone else. Every child learns and excels at their own pace and within their own range of abilities.
Try not to compare your child to others in their grade or age level. Instead, focus on what makes your child unique and special. Maybe your son runs extremely fast, but is having trouble catching a football. That’s okay! Race your child outside or time his sprints. You can still work on his hand-eye-coordination but try not to harp on it.
Lead by Example
An awesome way to get your child active is to get active yourself. Children look up to their parents and often want to emulate them. What better way to motivate your youngster to get moving than to show them how fun and rewarding it can be?
If you’re putting your sneakers for a jog, invite your kid along. Maybe take a shorter route or more periodic breaks to accommodate their needs. A lot of online platforms offer cardio workout routines made for both kids and adults. Switch up your current workout routine by incorporating a family-friendly video a few times a week and invite your child to participate.
You can even sign up for local 5K runs or walks that welcome families and participants of all ages. Even obstacle courses like Tough Mudder and Spartan offer mini-mudders for aspiring runners!
Go to the Park
What child doesn’t love going to the park? Did you know that playing on jungle gym equipment and even using the swings can offer your child full-body exercise?
Climbing the stairs of the slide or jungle gym is great for your child’s leg and arm muscles, as well as coordination. Of course, the monkey bars are an awesome upper-body activity and many playgrounds are equipped with mini-rock walls for climbing.
If your child prefers the swings, they’ll be working their legs and core each time they pump and swing their body to gain momentum. Who knew that a day at the park could be so much fun and beneficial?
Get a Pet
Buying a dog is a big family decision, but it might be worth it if it means getting your child more active.
Dogs love to play catch, tug of war, and go for walks. Make it your child’s job to walk the dog, as long as your child is old enough and strong enough to control the canine. They’ll love spending time with their pet and can walk them several times a day.
If your child is too young to walk the dog themselves, join them. Playing catch outside is another great activity for your child and their four legged friend. Even playing tug of war with the dog works your child’s arms and focuses on their hand strength. The only thing that has as much energy as a young, healthy kid is a puppy! They’ll have your child running and playing in no time.
Limit the Use of Electronics
Most children will opt for watching television, using a tablet, or playing video games over exercise. But if the option isn’t there, they can’t choose it. This means limiting your child’s screen time. Maybe for every 20 minutes spent on an electronic device, require your child to be active for 30 minutes.
If your child is going to play video games, consoles like Wii offer some pretty great interactive and exercise based games. Other games like Just Dance teach children choreographed routines that can burn upwards of 443 calories per hour!
Just as your child looks to you for activity inspiration, your reaction plays a huge part in their continued motivation and desire to exercise. Stay positive, even if your child isn’t showing as much passion about activity as you wish they would.
Encourage them to take an additional lap around the block during your daily walk. Take them to the park, even if they don’t ask. Compliment your child when they do something new or different. Praise them if they ask to exercise. By keeping a positive attitude, your child will view physical activity as something fun that they want to do, not as a daunting chore they avoid at all costs.
Opportunities Are Everywhere
Physical activity for kids isn’t limited to just the playing field or courts. There are endless opportunities for kids to exercise by performing everyday tasks. A little encouragement and creativity on your part can lead to a child that is healthy, happy, and well-rounded.
Get started today!
Article Submitted By Community Writer