The topic of improving health and wellness has been covered in so many different ways, but when we see the fact that our children are in the middle of an obesity epidemic, we’ve got to encourage our kids to do more. It’s harder than ever to encourage children to be physically active, but because the numbers for fitness between 12 and 15-year-old boys and girls are incredibly low (with 50% of boys and 34% of girls being adequately fit according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention), we’ve got to start thinking about ways to get our kids to move more. What can we do?
Incorporate More Fitness Tools Into Your Life
Lots of kids like to play, and this should be a good start, but we can go even further than this, especially when it comes to our back garden. Take inspiration from the numerous types of outdoor gym equipment for schools and incorporate them into your back garden. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly approach, you can encourage your children to roller skate or use a scooter. It’s important to remember that at the very beginning, as long as we’re giving them more options to exercise than ever without forcing them to crank out press-ups or run around more, this is a more than adequate start.
Focus on Fun
Look at the things your kids like to enjoy where they are up and about. As few as these things may be in your family, if you can start to encourage dancing or a bit more walking or even going to a miniature golf course, getting your kids up and enjoying themselves will strengthen the association between that activity and enjoyment. You can also make activities a more sociable thing. For example, if you are trying to set an example by exercising, you could always encourage them to join in. By focusing on ways of keeping their attention, this can make things more fun. For example, you can make competition a key motivator and give the winner a prize. When it comes to exercise at any age, if you can find the right primary motivator, this can ensure that anybody can stick to it.
Reward Physical Activity
Rewarding physical activity is a great way to get them up and about. For example, you could get them a watch that tracks their step count, and if they’ve hit the ideal number consistently, you can reward them with a computer game. You could also give gifts that promote physical activity, whether it’s a football or a video game that encourages physical activity!
Make Time for It
One of the biggest problems kids have these days is there’s very little time. They may have extracurricular activities outside of school or need to do homework or other planned activities that leave no time for exercise. When it comes to exercise, we should all embody that “drop everything and…” attitude. Dropping everything and exercising may seem like a tough routine to embed, but it will pay dividends in the long run.