Tuesday, March 12, 2019

6 Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Be More Active ♥

Like us adults, children have to be physically active for good overall health. Unfortunately, in this technologically-minded world we live in, getting children away from their phones, televisions, consoles, and other devices is difficult, but actually getting them out of the house is even harder.

This lack of exercise can be seriously damaging, putting your children at risk of developing several health issues and from my own experience, not embracing or participating in sports or physical activities as a child has made it so hard to motivate myself to work out as an adult.

This is why it's so important for me to encourage my boys to be active and get as much fresh air as they can each day. I always encourage playing outside rather than in, giving them their bikes, wagons and whatever else will help them get some exercise while playing.

Here are six ways to encourage your kids to exercise and to actually enjoy it too.

1. Set A Good Example
From a very young age, children watch and mimic the actions of their parents, both good and, unfortunately, bad. This is why toddlers look for their parents’ reactions before they start crying after hurting themselves. Because of this, it’s important that your kids see you enjoying physical activity and sports. If you set a good example by exercising regularly, they’ll want to do it too.

Tyler often asks me if he can come to the gym with me, unfortunately he'll have to wait until he's 14, but instead both boys go swimming with their Dad at the weekends while I'm at the gym and they love it! It really tires them out for bedtime too!

2. Use The Household Chores
From washing the car to walking the dog, many household chores keep us on our feet and out of the house. Rather than tackling all of these jobs yourself, you should hand over a few of them to your children. Just make sure that you don’t use these activities as a punishment. Instead, get the whole family involved and turn on some upbeat music to make the tasks feel fun.

I'm lucky that Tyler loves helping and is always keen to lend a hand with the household chores and even though Beau is only two, it's never too young to encourage a child to clean up after themselves, which thankfully, he now does.

3. Find An Enjoyable Activity
Kids like to have fun, which means that yours are much more likely to exercise if they’re doing an activity that they actually enjoy. For this reason, you should look into a few options, like football and swimming, and ask your child what they want to do. Tyler joined rugby last year and although I'm not entirely sure if he enjoys team sports, he loves the social aspect of it on a Saturday morning and enjoys running around with his friends there.

You could even stock up on holi colours and host a colour run at their school, either for sports day or in aid of a charitable cause - the kids will love it, get active and a good cause may benefit from all the fun too, what could be better? Safety is also crucial, whatever activity they end up doing, so make sure they have the right equipment and adult supervision when playing sports, cycling bikes, etc.

4. Give The Right Gifts
When birthdays, Christmases, and other special occasions roll around, make sure that you choose your kids’ gifts very carefully. Rather than buying them the latest games console or something else to keep them indoors, you could give a present that promotes activity, like a bike or rollerblades.

Activity tracking technology is a fun and helpful option for older children and they'll be delighted to have a device just like their parents (Tyler would love his very own version of my Fitbit!). Check out my post on 10 gift ideas for kids that aren't toys for even more gift inspiration.

5. Limit The Screen Time
Most professionals recommend that children get not more than one or two hours of screen time each day. Unfortunately, a large percentage of kids get double or even more than that. To keep your children from wasting away in front of the television, you should limit their screen time to the recommended amounts. With this extra free time, they can take part in more physical activities and from my own experience, actually play with the plethora of toys they have!

6. Speak To Your Doctor
Although children copy and mimic their parents, they very rarely listen to them, especially about important topics. This means that, even if you explain why exercise is so crucial to your kids, they still might not do it. To remedy this issue, you should take your children to speak to your family doctor. If a professional explains why exercise is essential, they might just pay attention.

How do you encourage your kids to be more active?


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