Children should be getting at least one hour of physical activity per day. That is an absolute minimum. When I was a child, we spent so much time running around outside that it was never a question of only 1 hour, but nowadays, with phones, TV’s and iPads, getting a kid to play outside can be challenging.
So how can we get children more active in their everyday lives? Having raised 4 children of my own, I can suggest a few of my top tips.
Find out what they’re really interested in
You might be a hardcore baseball fan with dreams of your child becoming the next big star, but please do not let your projections establish their future. They may go to baseball merely to please you, but they will not enjoy it if inside their true passion is for tennis, for example. Never force your child to do something that they truly do not want to do.
I encourage you to try all the different sports you will find, even those that may seem strange to you.
This is an almost guaranteed way to get your child to give up basketball altogether. Nobody enjoys being criticised. Instead, why not find positive and uplifting ways to encourage your child to play sports.
Teach by being
It’s no surprise that children look up to their parents. If you tell them,”you must exercise daily” but don’t do it yourself, they may not be as keen to listen to you. They will love spending time with you and it will somehow feel more natural to them to be busy if you’re active too.
For those who have a dog in the home, see if you can get your child to be the main dog-walker of the house. Make them feel important, stating that it’s”their” dog or that they do this job the best. Half an hour in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening – a terrific way to get them moving.
If you don’t have a puppy, invite your child to walk or cycle everywhere. Not only is it better for the environment, something which I am quite passionate about, but it will also keep them fit.
Build a tree house
If you have a garden in your home, why not build a tree house? Children love making stuff, and when it’s completed, they’ll stay active by climbing it. If you can not have a tree house, why don’t you hang some ropes on the thicker branches and encourage your kids to climb them? You can even turn it into a game, like treasure hunting, with one of the hints being on top of that rope.
Do something different
Hardly any people like routine, especially kids who can not sit still for very long. If you make them perform ballet everyday for 6 months, then they may get bored and lose interest. But if you vary things every now and then, they won’t ever know what is coming next and will get excited by new experiences.
Your children are going to see new places and keep active in the procedure.
Did you know that many gyms now have courses for children? They are done in game-form, for example jumping around obstacles. This allows kids to have fun because they don’t see it as a chore, and get fit at the same time. Not only that, but if you go with them to do your own thing, you’ll teach by example that going to the gym is a good thing to do.