There is so much entertainment and stimulation available to children today that many parents find it easier to allow long periods of screen time rather than argue with their kids about participating in more physical and energetic activities. If you are struggling to keep your children active, you are not alone. When given the option, many kids would choose to play with an engaging and virtually infinite digital world rather than the real one. However, to keep your kids healthy, encouraging activity is essential.
Why is Fitness So Important For Children?
It is much more difficult for an adult to start their fitness journey when they weren’t introduced to physical activity as a child. Everyone knows that staying active and eating well are important for overall health and the habits for this begin in childhood. Kids who enjoy movement and activity from an early age are much more likely to maintain these positive habits as they grow up. This, in turn, increases their chances of staying healthier for longer compared to children who were never encouraged to exercise. The following four tips are examples of how you can make being active more appealing to your kids.
1. Listen to Their Preferences
When your child expresses even a mild preference for one or more kinds of activity, pay attention and think about ways to incorporate this into a regular routine. For example, if they love to dance, then this could be a great way to both entertain and engage them each week. Allow them to change their mind if one activity is no longer enjoyable, but encourage them to join something else they might be interested in.
2. Remember the Social Aspect of Activities
Joining an activity group or club is the ideal way for kids to make friends. Sharing a common interest with children in their age group can help them build lifelong relationships. Classes taught at Infinity Martial Arts, for example, can bring kids together in a space where they are encouraged to be energetic and engaged. If your child needs some persuading to come out of their shell, teams can help them develop confidence. If, however, too much social time causes them distress, there are plenty of activities that are solo pursuits. It’s about understanding when to encourage bravery and when to let go.
3. Show Them the Activities You Enjoy
Model good fitness by showing your kids the exercises you enjoy most. If possible, get them to join in and have fun with you and the rest of the family.This can be a great opportunity for you to improve your fitness if you don’t already have a selection of physical activities you enjoy.
4. Link Fitness to Fun
Whenever possible, try to strengthen the connection between fitness and fun in your child’s mind. Make physical activities an adventure or a game rather than a chore. Relating exercise to discomfort or shame will only distance your child from fitness as they grow older, so put the emphasis on the fun of movement rather than the imperative to excel.