Kids are naturally energetic. Some kids can eat an entire cake and still be running around for hours afterward – a thought that has us, adults, heading for the couch. However, there are many distractions for kids in today’s world, from video games to social media, so it is important to educate them on the benefits of regular exercise. If you’re having a hard time getting your kid away from the PlayStation, follow this advice.
As much as kids love getting things for free, they also enjoy working towards goals to receive a reward. Offer to take them out for ice cream or to go see a new blockbuster movie if they reach a certain goal. You can set goals like miles run in a week or best biking times. Kids will be motivated to stay active and healthy as they get to see the fruits of their labor.
Kids aren’t going to be excited about running on a treadmill for very long, so use your imagination as well as theirs. Make games in the yard that involved running, jumping, and crawling. Set up obstacle courses that test strength and endurance (to a reasonable level of course) and offer prizes for victors. If you have a pool, you have loads of games that can be played such as volleyball, basketball, and water polo.
Be an Example
If you follow a regular workout regimen and your children are aware of it, they will be more likely to want to work out. Most younger children look up to their parents and often want to emulate everything that they do. Let your children know that you are staying healthy and strong and that you enjoy exercising. Starting them at a young age will create good habits that will be more likely to translate into teenage and adult years.
Give Them Options
Kids can be picky and spontaneous and may get bored of the same old routine over and over again. Let each child have a day or week to pick out their favorite form of exercise, and they’ll have more fun making decisions and doing what they want to do. They will appreciate the sense of responsibility you have given them and will learn plenty of new things based on performing a variety of exercises.
Make it Positive
Kids are very sensitive to criticism and punishment, so make sure to use positive reinforcement to keep them chugging along. When you work out on your own, don’t complain or talk about how you’re dreading having to go to the gym. Be happy that you are participating in activities that keep you healthy and give you more energy to be able to play with your kids. If your children have a positive view of exercise, they will be likely to participate and that will stick with them in the long run.