In decades past, many children would play outside, join sports teams and engage in other types of physical activity as a result of limited entertainment options. These days, however, kids have countless ways to occupy their time without venturing outside of their bedrooms. With so many cutting-edge gadgets and digital distractions constantly vying for kids’ attention, there’s little wonder as to why a sizable percentage of children have put physical activity on the backburner. Of course, this isn’t to say that parents should resign themselves to this situation. If you’re looking for ways to steer your kids in the direction of regular exercise, consider the following pointers.
Provide Tangible Incentives
It’s in the nature of most children to focus exclusively on short-term benefits. As such, trying to sell your kids on the various ways regular exercise can benefit them, in the long run, is likely to be a losing proposition. In order to become motivated, children generally require some sort of tangible incentive. For example, if your child has been hoping to make a sports team, informing them that regular exercise is crucial to building the required amount of stamina may prove effective at motivating them. Furthermore, if any of your kids have been itching to make new friends, take care to emphasize how much joining a sports team can help in this endeavor. Offering to buy them stylish men’s joggers and other fashionable active-wear can serve as an additional enticement.
Invest in Active Toys
It’s hard for children to be physically active when they don’t own any active toys. Toys that encourage active play can be invaluable tools for parents looking to make younger children less sedentary. Active toys come in many different varieties, with bicycles and playground equipment being among the most effective. Investing in a good swing set or climbing apparatus can provide your little ones with hours of active fun and ensure that they’re able to get plenty of fresh air. Additionally, a good bicycle can provide a child with a world-class workout and imbue them with a tremendous sense of freedom.
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Be a Role Model
Many children engage in behaviors they observe in their folks. Even if they don’t realize it on a conscious level, kids all of all ages tend to view their parents as role models. That being the case, if you want to get your children involved in regular exercise, you’d be wise to set a good example.
However, this isn’t to say that you should spend all your leisure time sweating it out at the gym. Engaging in light exercise on a consistent basis is liable to catch the attention of your children and prompt them to follow your lead. Conversely, telling your kids to be physically active while putting your own physical fitness on the backburner is practically guaranteed to impact your credibility in their eyes. So when it comes to physical fitness, you’ll be well-served by practicing what you preach.
Police Screen Time
You’d be hard-pressed to find a parent who enjoys playing the role of disciplinarian. However, as any seasoned mom or dad can attest, it’s sometimes a necessary burden. If your children have proven completely unreceptive to attempts at getting them involved in exercise, it may be time to put your foot down and start policing their screen time. This can entail making screen time contingent upon meeting certain exercise goals. Of course, this doesn’t mean your kids should be forced to exercise to the point of exhaustion. Thirty minutes to one hour of active play per day is often a realistic goal, but if any of your children suffer from health issues that may prohibit this, it’s in your best interest to consult their physician.
It’s easy to see why physical activity is no longer a priority for many children. With a wide array of cutting-edge devices constantly competing for their attention, most kids can entertain themselves for hours without setting foot outside of their homes. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with embracing modern technology, a child’s passion for tech shouldn’t come at the expense of their overall health. Fortunately, with the previously discussed tips at their disposal, parents should have an easy time instilling the importance of regular exercise in their children.