As parents, we often worry about our children getting enough exercise. After all, it’s our duty to provide them with the right nutrition they need to fuel their growing bodies. But getting them active remains largely down to their own prerogative.
Some kids just prefer to sit in front of the TV or playing video games. And that’s okay, in moderation, but ideally your children should be healthy and active. They need plenty of fresh air to keep their bodies functioning at optimal levels. Especially so at an early age, when their immune function is not yet very sophisticated.
Stop worrying about your kids not spending enough time outside and start thinking of practical ways to achieve this. Below are just a few of our tips to help get your kids off the sofa and start living a healthier lifestyle.
Find Their Interests
Not all children are interested in sports. Sometimes, when a family is especially sports orientated, children like to rebel. Or maybe you just aren’t big sports fans yourself, so your children have no reason to be exposed to it.
In these instances, there are no words you can say to encourage them to take up a sport, despite the health benefits that come with it. Children don’t think like that. They want their lives to be filled with simple pleasures, and they don’t fully grasp the importance of good health yet.
If your child isn’t interested in joining a sports team, for example, try finding some common ground. Maybe your daughter enjoys dance classes, or your son has been picked for the swimming team at school. Both of these activities are fantastic ways for them to get in better shape, even if they aren’t conventional sports. Exercise comes in many forms, and sports teams are just a few of them.
Especially when your children are at a younger age, they love their parents to get involved in all their hobbies. Perhaps at a psychological level, they’re doing something with your approval.
If you want your kids to be more active, the very best thing you can do is to get involved too. There’s no greater motivation for children than pleasing their parents. To keep things simple, start by just playing outdoor games one-on-one with your child. This will teach them to appreciate the time you spend together, and learn to love being fit and active.
On the occasion when your child is expressing significant interest in a particular sport, try to take it a step further. Joining an officially registered team could make your child feel like they’re part of something. It gives them both independence and responsibility. If there are no teams of this nature in your area, why not start one yourself? You can be sure that you’re not the only parent concerned with getting their children enough exercise. Combining your efforts means a better overall contribution.
Buy The Right Equipment
When you want your child to start playing sports, you often don’t care what it is, as long as it’s something. The fact that you’ll need to purchase the right gear for them is often overlooked.
You should take this into consideration when discussing with your child what sport they’d like to play. If money is especially tight, you don’t want to encourage them to do something that’s going to involve a lot of costs.
Try to stick to simple sports, like baseball. There isn’t much of an outlay. You can find youth baseball gloves, bats and uniforms online at relatively low prices. Remember, if your child enjoys watching sports, they’ll want to emulate their heroes when they’re playing. This might mean shelling out for this season’s jersey with their favourite players’ name etched into the back.
Enforce Strict Limits
The most effective way to get your kids looking for alternative means of entertainment is to limit their time spent inside. By no means should you be outright banning television, video games or the internet. But you should be looking to reduce the amount of time spent on those activities.
Think about it. Your kid will never have reason to step outside if he’s in front of a computer screen. The internet provides him with all the knowledge in the world at the click of a button.
Turn these things into a reward for good behaviour after doing household chores. Kids are smart. If they know their options are limited, they’ll find other ways to entertain themselves. Even if that means going out with their friends, it’s time better spent than playing on their X-Box.