As a parent, you want what’s best for your children. You want them to be healthy and happy. One way to ensure they’re healthy is to inspire them to embrace exercise. If they learn to love to exercise as a child, they’ll be more likely to continue into adulthood.
Very young children seem to be a ball of perpetual motion. However, the older they get the less likely they are to stay active. Part of the reason children aren’t as active when they are growing up is that schools don’t stress physical education the way they once did. Parents also don’t feel allowing their child to play in the neighborhood is as safe as it once was.
One way to inspire kids to embrace exercise is to enjoy it yourself. If your children see you running, swimming, or doing some type of physical exercise, they’re going to understand how good it makes you feel. You can find an activity you can do as a family or as a parent and child. Here are some ideas:
- Riding bicycles
- Roller skating
- Jogging or running
- Rock climbing
- Martial arts
Plan to spend a minimum of one half hour per day, three days a week, getting the family involved physically. Explain the benefits of staying active including building strong bones and muscles, keeping weight under control, decreasing the possibility of developing type 2 Diabetes, or having a better outlook on life. Being physically active can also improve your quality of sleep, as well as give you the energy you need to be able to do the things you want to do. Physically active children also do better in school.
Find activities to match your child’s age. Obviously very young children will become bored with the sameness of running. They might, however, enjoy running if it is part of playing outdoor games such as Red Rover or Tag. Make exercise fun and children of any age are more likely to continue with it.
Encourage them to become involved in a sport. Determine what your child is most interested in and then find something they can do. Does your child love to dance? They may be willing to try dance classes or gymnastics. Does your child dribble a ball without stopping? Enroll them in a basketball camp or team with children their own age.
Once they do become involved in a sport or a physical activity, do everything you can to be there for them. No one likes to play a sport without having someone there to root them on. It’s no different for children. In fact, if you become involved as a sport parent, you may improve your relationship with your child.
Knowing how to inspire kids to embrace exercise can be confusing but it doesn’t have to be. More than anything, your children will model what they see you do. If you’re active and exercise regularly, your children will be more willing to follow in your footsteps. For more on this see 5 Parenting Tips To Help Your Child Get More Exercise.