'Fit And Healthy: Encouraging Kids To Be More Active

April 30, 2020

Some children can’t wait to grab a ball and start shooting hoops or whizz off at speed as soon as you mention the words bike ride, but others need a little more persuasion to embrace physical activity. Exercise is hugely beneficial for adults and children and it can boost both physical and mental health. If you’re struggling to get your kids off the sofa, here are some tips to increase activity levels. 

Make exercise part of your routine

Most parents can’t wait to spend quality time with their children on the weekends. If you tend to gravitate towards movie nights, or your kids enjoy playing video games or chatting with their friends online, try and get into a routine as a family that enables you to hang out while being active. Plan a long walk and take a picnic, go for a bike ride or take a football or a frisbee to the beach or local park. You could also try rock climbing, swimming, kayaking and trampolining.

Image by https://pixabay.com/photos/bikes-kids-children-summer-2379215/

Find a balance

If your children aren’t naturally sporty, or they don’t take an interest in physical activity, it’s important not to force them to spend all their time doing things they don’t enjoy. Find a balance when planning your time, and enable them to combine existing hobbies with new activities. It’s a great idea to introduce new sports and to adapt interests they already have to try and increase activity levels and ensure they have fun at the same time. If they’re not into soccer or baseball, for example, you could try golf, tennis, cycling, badminton, surfing or dancing. 

Look into team sports and local clubs

Many communities have sports and clubs that offer kids the chance to get involved, try new things and meet new friends. Sometimes, you can access activities that aren’t available at schools, and clubs can also tailor coaching to suit the individual. If your children are keen to join a team, ask neighbors, other parents at school and colleagues for recommendations and look for details online. Before you begin, make sure your child has the right kit. Some sports are dangerous, and they carry a risk of injuries, such as broken bones and concussion. Research shows that 283,000 children visit emergency rooms with traumatic brain injuries every year. To protect your child, it’s crucial to make sure they have a good coach and to invest in the relevant equipment, for example, a helmet. Your child’s coach will be able to provide advice about where to buy kit, and they can also give you information about the risks involved. In the vast majority of cases, the benefits of being active far outweigh the risks. 

Make exercise fun

Some children grow up thinking that exercise is a chore. If your kids don’t enjoy physical education classes, they’re probably not going to be ecstatic when you suggest doing something active on the weekends. Try and make exercise as fun as possible. Do things together as a family, play games and try to find activities that suit your child. Some kids like to be around others, while some prefer their own company. For those who like to fly solo, why not try martial arts or activities like canoeing, archery, swimming, cycling or gymnastics?

Picture credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/baseball-player-in-gray-and-black-uniform-running-163239/

Being active is beneficial for adults and children. If you’re keen to boost your activity levels, hopefully, these tips have given you inspiration. 

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