These days our children don’t get nearly enough exercise. Instead they are tucked away in their rooms playing on all sorts of electronic gadgets. If you are a parent this can be very frustrating. Especially if you notice your child is starting to gain a lot of weight.
Most parents want to help but they really don’t know how. This is especially the case for parents who are not active themselves and so they don’t know where to begin. But, it is of utmost importance to make sure that kids get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily and don’t assume that school PE and recess periods will take care of it.
Here are some of the best exercise and fitness tips to get kids moving.
Tip #1 – Make Exercise Fun & Easy
You have to remember these are children we are talking about. That means they aren’t going to be interested in some boot camp style workouts. They want something that’s fun and easy to do. When a child is engaging in an activity they want to feel competent and self-efficient. If they don’t feel they can do the exercise they will shut down. So choose an activity or exercise that doesn’t require too much thought. Something they can catch onto quickly.
Tip #2 – Take It Slow
Yes it is recommended children get at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. However, if your child is not used to being active there is no way they will make it through an hour fitness session the first time out. So take things slow. Start off with just 10 minutes of play a day. You can play hide and seek or throw a Frisbee around. Use a timer and when the time is up stop playing and go back inside. This does two very important things. Its shows children getting outside is fun and it also makes them want to do it again.
Tip #3 – Avoid Games Where Players Can Be Eliminated
This is especially important if you are dealing with a child who is overweight. You don’t want to play any games that will make it easy for the child to be eliminated. For an overweight child this type of game can have a negative impact on their self-esteem. Once the child is eliminated they will have to sit out for the rest of the game. That means they won’t get any exercise which in turn defeats the whole purpose in the first place. So avoid games like dodge ball.
Tip #4 – Consider Finding Your Child A Mentor
Sometimes a child might not respond to their parents. Especially if they are severely overweight. They will be reluctant to do anything that has to do with exercise. One way to combat this is find your child a mentor. Find someone they look up to and have a great deal of respect for. This could be a neighbor, a family friend or a fitness professional in your local area. Having a mentor is a great way to show your child exercising and staying healthy is a cool thing to do.
Tip #5 – Keep At It
If you child doesn’t respond to you the first few times that doesn’t mean you should give up. Keep at it. Be creative and try to find new, fun ways to approach the situation. It won’t be easy to get your child to start moving if it’s something they are not used to doing. But stick with and stay positive. Eventually your child will come around.
Tip #6 – Organized Sports
This is a great idea for both boys and girls and the YMCA and local little leagues are great places to start.
There are plenty of choices, including:
- And others
Organized sports and teams have regular practices and games and so provide ample opportunity for kids to get the optimal amount of exercise. Plus, it’s a great family event for bonding and teaches kids to be part of a team. And, hey, you never know, you might just have another Coby Bryant or a Babe Ruth in your family.
Tip #7 – Outdoor Games
There are plenty of fun outdoor games in the toy sporting goods sections of department stores. Some of them facilitate creativity and imagination as well, and are games the whole family can participate in.
Tip #8 – Wii Fit
For kids that love video games and a Nintendo Wii, nothing is more fun than the Wii Fit, which is a specialty console for fitness games.
They are fun, and when you have the Wii Fit Board kids can follow along with the exercise on the screen and move, instead of just sitting in front of their console as in the typical gaming experience.