Getting our children engaged in anything can seem like a major mountain to climb, especially when it comes from us. We give our children advice to do things because it’s good for them. But the problem our children have is that eating something that’s good for them or getting involved in something that benefits their minds doesn’t register because they are young enough to not feel the negative repercussions. I am always thinking of ways to get my children to love physical exercise.
However, now we are all becoming more concerned that a sedentary lifestyle is making an impact on kids early on, and this is why we must focus on physical exercise and bring it into our children’s lives. Your children don’t need to be interested in sports, but they need to love some form of physical activity. So let’s give you some tips to ensure that your children can build something into their lives.
The Right Christmas or Birthday Present
The fact is that whether it’s a basketball, a football, or a pair of kids roller skates, the right gift is something that, in a very subtle way, can almost guilt your children into having more physical activity in their lives. They might have asked Santa for games and toys, but the right Christmas present can provide a foundation of fitness that will make a big difference.
Because when you give your child something like this and it’s from you, you are, ever so slightly, sending a message that this is something that is more fun rather than something directly associated with fitness. A fabulous way to encourage your children to love physical exercise.
If your children used to run around the house constantly and you were fed up telling them to get off the couch, as nice as it is to have the living room tidy, if you were discouraging them from playing, this could be what led them to become more sedentary. Playing more is incredibly beneficial and you need to encourage this, but of course, you need to recharge it in the right ways.
Rather than thinking about exercise as being a very strict approach where your children need to play more sports, lift weights, or do press-ups, the fact is that as long as your children are active by using their whole body, getting the muscles working, and increasing their heart rate, this is a job well done.
The trick is to ensure that your children are active for a certain amount of time every day. If they are not active in school, you need to take it upon yourself to help them be more active before school and afterwards. It doesn’t need to be a long stretch of time because exercise is cumulative, it all adds up. So so you can start to build in physicality with things like a ball game after school, doing chores outside like gardening, or getting them to walk to the bus stop or to school with you can make a big difference.
If you can aim for a grand total of an hour a day, this totals 7 hours a week, and as the recommended amount of exercise for a child is an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity, this would be enough for overall health.
Follow Their Lead
Exercise comes in many different methods. You don’t need to give them certain things to ensure that they are being active. As long as they are getting up and about, this is what matters. The activities can change on a day-to-day basis. If it’s raining, you can put your wellies on and go jump in puddles, and if it’s snowing, you can go make a snowman. Great ideas to get your children to love physical exercise.
The great thing is that when you start to promote fun rather than exercise, this is the most subtle way to ensure that your children are getting out and doing plenty. You can get involved with them if you want, but there may be a time when they don’t want to do anything with you, which is their prerogative, but it’s at this point where you’ve got to ensure that they are being active away from you. Sometimes, just keeping them out of the house (as long as they’re old enough) can be all that you need to keep them active.
Providing the Right Diet
While we may focus on exercise, the fact is that it’s worth nothing if your child has a poor diet. The most important thing we have to remember is that we give our children the right things that will give them more energy. It is not easy, especially when the cost of everything has increased, but we have to provide the right diet at home.
Partly, this can be to do with your child’s weight. If they are overweight, ensuring that they have a healthier diet can be a bit more of a task because we are directly responsible for their weight gain. We’ve got to start thinking about giving them the right foods but also ensure that we don’t demonise the sweets either. The best benchmark is to provide 80% healthy foods and 20% of what they fancy. That way, if we can at least provide the majority of healthy meals at home and they have treats on the weekends, we can go in the right direction.
Being fit and healthy is as much of a skill as navigating a computer or the internet. Our children can certainly run the risk of becoming sedentary adults, which is why we’ve got to nip this in the bud. Getting our children to have an interest in some form of physical exercise is not easy but the benefit of getting fitter is once you start to get up and about, you instantly feel better and when you start to become more sedentary this is when you start to feel sluggish. Exercise is fantastic for mental health and this is something that can help, not just our children, but ourselves. Therefore, loving physical exercise and having a healthier diet is not just for physical health, but for the health and happiness of everyone in the family.
Do you have any tips to get your children to love physical exercise? I would love to know in the comments below.