Due to technological advancements, we are being less active and living more sedentary lives. And our children are too.
With less time spent outside while in school, and kids having electronic devices, getting exercise is slim to none for our kids.
But we can change that by encouraging our children to get more exercise.
How to Encourage Children To Get More Exercise
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day. Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and only 1 in 3 adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
Those facts are eye opening.
We do not get enough exercise and it’s damaging to our health. Especially to our children’s.
In case you didn’t know, experts say that sitting is the new smoking, in that the health consequences are the same. Too much sitting overall and prolonged periods of sitting also seem to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer much like smoking.
In the future, this will likely be a much-maligned topic of the health discussion, especially for children.
Remaining sedentary for a long time each and every day simply isn’t healthy. But there are seemingly more and more options available to us to ensure we do so.
Streaming services have refined entertainment and ensured the program we wish to watch is at the click of a button. Children’s video game consoles offer repetitive gaming experiences, those that encourage hours spent sat on the sofa.
This form of sedentary activity can affect children the most, as their development is just as much influenced by their behavior as their natural growth.
Of course, it might not be ideal, feasible, or realistic to force your child to run laps around the local field, or to head to the gym. But encouraging them to get more exercise could be essential to their development.
With the following tips, you’ll find methods to embed exercise in their life more effectively:
Enjoy Activities with Them
It’s one thing to encourage your children to simply run around in the garden or to play with fun items you have purchased them, it’s another to engage in those activities with them yourself.
Children are often extremely interested in spending time with you, to the point where they’ll often hang around you all day, even if you’re sat in your home office throughout its entirety. But even with a busy schedule, it can be important to spend some time with them. It needn’t be anything intense.
Simply throwing a ball around the yard with them, playing with outdoor crafts such as the sandpit station you might have, or heading on a bike ride will not only motivate them to get exercise, but you will to0, providing an active example to them.
It’s good bonding time too!
Be The Example
If you often eat an abundance of food each day, get little to no exercise and do not pay attention to your waistline, there’s a good chance your child will grow to implement negative habits themselves, and consider a lack of activity to be justifiable, as you have set that example.
This is why it’s extremely important to stay in shape yourself.
Of course, I’m not suggesting you need to run marathons to be the perfect parent, but getting enough physical activity each day and eating healthy, can set the right example and help your child see the ideals of self-care.
When you set the example, kids will naturally follow.
Provide Them with Things To Encourage Activity
Of course, there’s only so much a child can do with an empty yard during the summer months. Especially since it’s so hot outside.
A football or other sporting apparatus might help them stay engaged for a while, but it’s important to provide them with useful items to help them stay active.
For example, you could visit a site like AllTheStuff.com where you can find the perfect trampoline for your backyard.
Kids love trampolines and it’s a great way to encourage them to get outside, play and get some exercise. Even fifteen minutes spent on a trampoline can truly be a great, natural workout for your kids, and they’ll do it willingly because it’s so much fun.
Other options include climbing walls that are easy to place provided you have the space, or full-set climbing frames.
Of course, you need to gauge how safe and careful your child will be when playing on these types of toys, because monkeys bars, trampolines, etc. have been known to contribute to high levels of child play injuries.
However, if you believe your child is physically capable of interacting with this safely, and you put all the safety measures in place you can do your best to allow safe and active play.
Make It Fun
It can be hard for a child to become interested in physical activity especially if they haven’t spent much time being active.
It can become even more difficult if they might not be interested in traditional sports or any particular activity that requires physical activity but there are ways around that.
Help your child find fun ways to be engaged and active because when it’s fun, it doesn’t seem like such a daunting task.
It could be that joining a local sports center, getting your kids involved in martial arts, joining a day camp or perhaps heading swimming with them each weekend can help them come out of their shell, and give them the tools to begin having fun and helping them obtain physical exercise.
In other words, it can be important to encourage them, to show them that being active and away from their electronic devices isn’t a bad thing, and that if they wish to show interest in a specific activity, you will support them to the very end.
With these tips, encouraging your children to get more exercise will be a (pun intended) walk in the park. And who knows, it could bring your family together in a healthy and more fulfilling way.