Getting Your Kids to Exercise

Does your kid get more hours of screen time than sunshine? Although there’s nothing wrong with a little down time, inactivity can be a slippery slope for many families. With obesity now an international epidemic, ensuring your children stay active is of the utmost importance.

  • Set a Good Example

Are you something of a couch potato yourself? Remember that kids often follow their parent’s lead, so your bad habits could be making an impact. Show your kids that staying active can be simple and fun by encouraging walks as a family rather than using the car and organising games outdoors. Make sure you take part yourself, or your children won’t take your advice seriously.

  • Restrict Screen Time

If the TV, computer or X-Box seems to be the main temptation keeping your kids indoors, set time limits on their use. Be firm with your boundaries and ensure that your rules are respected.

  • Be Imaginative

It’s okay if your child isn’t keen on team sports and loathes PE lessons. Teach your kids that there are ways to get outdoors and be healthy without having to take part in traditional sports and activities. Encourage them in whatever activity catches their interest; be it rock-climbing, hiking or quidditch. Try new things together as a family, like ice skating and bowling that feel more like fun days out than exercise. Just getting outside and going for a walk can be enough, no world-class athletics required.

  • Let Them Take Charge

If you’re always calling the shots, your kids may feel that they don’t have much say, and may end up rebelling against exercise out of spite. Let them choose a different activity each time until they find a favourite, and follow their lead on what they enjoy. Remember to be positive and praise them for any healthy exercise they decide to take part in; this reinforcement will improve their self-esteem and give them positive associations with getting active.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *