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10 tips to keep kids interested in exercising
Parents know the struggle of getting kids to exercise. Many face the same obstacles: TV, video games and lack of interest. Here are 10 tips to get them interested in physical activities.
1. Start small
Although taking your kids to the gym and having them do something while you exercise seems the way to go you need to be realistic and start small. Consider giving the
kids some work around the house. In the winter time you can make it a game for them to clear the snow around the yard. Even if they don`t do too much, the simple fact
they are willing to do some physical activity could be a good starting point.
2. Plant a tree together
Kids love getting involved with the work of their parents so you can invite them to plant a tree together. Not only is this a good opportunity for them to learn about the life
of plants but it will definitely make them want to get involved in digging, shoveling and watering the tree.
3. Walk the dog
Research shows that dogs have a good emotional impact on kids. Taking the family pet out for a walk is a great activity for kids. They will play with the dog, try to teach it
new tricks and exercise outside.
Fresh air and connecting with the dog and the family will make kids feel involved and they will almost certainly wait for the next walk. You can change things up and walk
the dog in different areas every time to keep things interesting. Walking by a river or in the park is a home-run with kids.
4. Involve household chores
No kid wants to do any household chores but making them fun should be your starting point as a parent. Make sure not to take them straight into chores from their
favorite cartoon as it could end in resentment. Instead, try inventing games like “hide the laundry clothes” that would force them to try and select all the clothing that needs
to go into the washing machine. Take your time and explain how the machine works as kids always love a good story.
5. Buy new sporting equipment
Children love new things and buying some new sporting equipment is a sure way of making them interested in trying it out. You can consider running shoes, a football or
even a baseball bat. Once you get the new item get them outside or to the park and let them experiment it.
Make sure you have a nice story to go along with the item and present it as if it would make them a sporting champion. A good way to see if the kids are interested in the
item is to take them shopping and letting them choose whatever interests them from the store.
6. Join a gym with childcare
Many new gyms offer childcare programs. Make sure to look at the gyms in your area and if they offer the option you should consider at least a weekly program. This is a
great opportunity for kids to familiarize themselves with active adults and get to know the importance of a healthy lifestyle. It is also a great socializing opportunity and
making new friends at the gym can be a great asset to have in the fight with cartoons and video games.
7. Bring friends to the gym
Speaking of socializing, parents can join online groups for sporting activities. Let the kids know their friends are coming to the gym and get them excited about leaving the
house. You can organize a weekly meeting with other gym-going parents and make the most of the time spent at the gym. Never forget to involve the kids in the whole
process as they will get more interested in the event if they are part of organizing it.
8. Consider miniature training
Many parents are starting to involve their children in training routines to get them familiarized with physical activity. If you are a powerlifter and you are keen to train with a
huge hammer and a wheel consider buying a toy hammer and have your kid mimic your moves. Instead of turning them away from your training space you give them their
own training space where they will try to copy whatever you are doing.
9. Circuit training for kids
Keeping in mind that kids have a short attention span, circuit training could keep them interested for a longer period of time. This is so successful it has been implemented
in marketing techniques in fun parks.
Explain the circuit to your kids before they start and even if they complete it in the wrong order let them feel in control. You can include exercises like: jumping rope,
jumping in the air, ball throwing, jumping jacks or lunges. You can involve more children to keep them motivated or use a stopwatch to keep track of their results and let
them see if they can improve with the next occasion.
10. Take a Yoga class
One of the easiest ways to get kids moving is to take them to a class. If you could find kids classes that would be ideal but even taking them to an adult class is good enough.
They will learn essential skills like having patience, keeping balance, learning breathing techniques, synchronizing movements, relaxing or paying attention to a
speaker/instructor. This is a great way of improving behavior and managing the high energy levels kids have.
There are countless other options available when it comes to keeping kids interested in exercising. Keeping in mind that parent shouldn`t force kids to do sports,
encouraging physical activity is necessary in a society where children are spending more and more time in front of screens. You also need to keep in mind that what count
as physical activity for adults, doesn`t translate to children’s activities. You don`t want your kids to get injuries as a result of an activity and this is why you have to let them
dictate how much effort they want to put it.