Simple Ways to Encourage Your Children to Be More Active

Simple Ways to Encourage Your Children to Be More Active

Being physically active plays an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes, our hectic schedule prevents us from being as active as we should. The same thing applies to children as well, who struggle to balance school, homework and extracurricular activities with playtime and the constant temptation of television, internet, and video games. According to experts, children need to spend at least 60 minutes a day doing physical activity and multiple studies show this is not normally happening. Kids spend about 30 hours a week in front of a screen, which can have a negative impact on both their physical and mental health. But fortunately, there are some ways to encourage your children to spend a bit more time outside and become more active.

Set a Good Example

Children often mimic the parents’ behavior, so setting up a good example is the best way to encourage your kids to become interested in physical activities. Make sure exercise is part of your weekly schedule and try to find ways to include your kids as well. Maybe you can go ride a bike in the park once a week and enjoy some quality time with the family. Another great option is to go on hiking trips from time to time. There are plenty of hiking routes that are suited for children also. Turn this into a weekend trip and camp somewhere outside the city if time and weather allow. This is a good way for kids to enjoy nature and can be a great opportunity to enjoy some other outdoor activities also. Play some frisbee, soccer or even turn the trip into a nature scavenger hunt. Make a list of things they need to find in nature, such as various types of stones, leaves, feathers or twigs. By seeing you getting involved in such activities, your children will most likely follow your example and become more open to spending time away from the black screens.

Simple Ways to Encourage Your Children to Be More Active

Get Creative with Indoor Activities

If for some reason or another you are stuck inside the house all day, it doesn’t mean your kids can’t enjoy some active time. Take inspiration form your child’s favorite sports and come up with some indoor options using household items or toys. Investing in some simple and inexpensive supplies can work wonders. You can buy a mini basketball hoop that comes with small basketballs and can be attached to the door or wall for 30 minutes of indoor basketball. Another option is buying some simple fitness equipment, like hula hoops, jump ropes or fitness balls. They are easy and fun to use and will help you get in shape while enjoying some quality time with your kids. If all fails, blast some music and get your dance moves on. Kids usually like dancing and you can even learn one or two new moves from them.

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Help Them Find and Cultivate Their Passion    

Some children are open to sports and even find one they like pretty easy, while others may have a bit of trouble finding an activity they enjoy. Take them out to try various sports until they find the one they like, but don’t push them too far. Soccer, basketball, and baseball are all great options, but if your child is not into group sports, there are other sports that they can try. Maybe skateboarding, biking or dancing is a more appropriate activity for them and they are all as beneficial as any other sport. Child swimming lessons are one of the best ways to keep your kids active and chances are they may even become experts at it after a few lessons. Swimming helps boost self-confidence and once they see how much they can accomplish with setting out and achieving a few small goals, it will turn out to be quite a life lesson for them. The health benefits of swimming are abounding, and good muscle and bones development, along with stress relief are just a few of them.

Simple Ways to Encourage Your Children to Be More Active

Minimize Electronic Temptations

It may be easy sometimes to just let the kids sit in front of the tv or computer, so you can get along with your daily chores, but this does not add any benefit to their health. Sure, letting them enjoy one or two hours of video games after they’re done with homework and active playing doesn’t hurt, but make sure it doesn’t become a habit. Talk to them and put together a screen time schedule or use it as a reward for when they’ve finished all their daily tasks. Maybe they can have one hour of video games after they’ve finished their homework, but only if they promise to help you with gardening or other chores. Make these house activities seem fun and entertaining and your kids will view them as a game. Often parents lock electronics away, but that only makes the kids more tempted to find the hiding place or view you as the enemy. Instead, having an adult discussion about it and explaining to them why they should combine activities might be more productive.

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Turn Chores into Fun

Teaching your kids to help around the house at a young age is extremely important and will pay off late on in their adult life. But chores are not always fun and adults know this best, so finding ways to turn chores into games can help kids be more open and willing to help. Setting out a price system can encourage them to get things done and not see it as a burden. Turn house-cleaning into a scavenger hunt and make a list of things that have to be put in their place. The one who ticks off the most things on their list wins an extra piece of dessert or an extra 30 minutes of TV. Getting kits to help you in the kitchen can be another great way for them to develop an essential skill and maybe even turn it into a passion, even it if does not involve that much physical activity. Get the to do simple tasks, such as washing the vegetables, or mixing the salad, but don’t let them near sharp objects unsupervised.

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