Hacks to Encourage Your Kids to be Physically Active
Being physically active has loads of benefits for people of all ages including a boosted immune system, better metabolism, mood improvements, lower risk of diseases, and so much more. As a parent, it is a good idea to get your kids into the habit of being physically active early in life. This way they will find it easier to keep the habit and be able to reap its benefits throughout their entire lives. That being said, sometimes encouraging your kids to be active is easier said than done. Especially in today’s technology-driven society. Thankfully there are some hacks that you can use to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle for your family.
Sports. Usually, sports are the first things that come to mind when considering an active lifestyle. If your family has the resources to join organized sports leagues, then by all means enroll your kids. If you are concerned that your child will not like a sport you choose, let them choose. Give them the option between whichever sports are available to you and allow them to choose which one they want. Giving them some control should mean they are more motivated to participate because it was partially their decision to play in the first place. Sports also benefit kids because they encourage teamwork and leadership skills. However, if you family lacks resources for organized sports you can play sports in your yard or local park too. All you need is a ball and some friends and your kids can get the same benefits as the others.
Play Games. Kids love games. I’m sure you’ve received the advice before that if your kids don’t want to do something, make it into a game. The same advice can be applied to active living. There are so many children’s games you can use to make a physical activity more fun. For instance, if your kid doesn’t want to go for a walk you can try telling them that it’s a game to see who can spot more trees. Or you can make it into a game of I Spy. This strategy can be applied to all other kinds of physical activities like swimming, hiking, biking etc. Games have the power to distract kids from the task that they previously didn’t want to do and usually wind up allowing them to enjoy it.
Incentives. Sometimes a basic rewards system is the most effective way to encourage your children to be active. If your child does not want to go on a bike ride or whatever physical activity you are trying to get them to try, tell them that if they do it for a certain amount of times then they will receive a reward. There are plenty of rewards you can use whether it be some girls shoes, a barbie, hot wheels, favourite snack, screen time, etc. You know your kid therefore you will know what the most effective incentive will be.
Lead by Example! Finally, the most powerful hack of all: monkey see, monkey do! You are your child’s first and most influential role model, so that gives you tremendous sway to encourage your child to be more active simply by being active yourself. Your child will naturally want to mimic your behaviours, so don’t sit on the couch watching the TV and tell your kid to go outside — go outside yourself! You don’t have to play games, if that’s not your style, but you can be active in the garden. You can walk to the store instead of drive, take the stairs instead of the escalator, do yoga before bed instead of staring at a screen — there’s no end to the number of ways you can show your child the invigorating perks of being physically active