With smart phones and video games at their fingertips, children spend their free time staring at the screen. Not only does this lead to their physical inactivity, but it also increases their risk of obesity and hinders their cognitive development. Let’s not forget about the damage that it can do to their eyes too, especially if they don’t wear blue light filter glasses that can help to prevent too much blue light from entering their eyes and causing eye strain. At such a young age, these factors could have a long-term effect on their lives the older they get. Physical activity, on the other hand, has been linked to better academic achievement by improving brain function. Therefore, it’s essential that parents encourage their children to be more active, reminding them of the pleasures of play and joys of childhood. Although this might sound as a simple task, it actually requires parents to be creative themselves in order to inspire their children rather than forcing them.
Get a pet
If your kids have wanted a pet for a really long time, you should consider introducing a new family member. It has been proven that there are numerous benefits of children growing up with pets and physical activity is just one of them. Instead of playing video games, they will spend time running around and playing with their animal friend.
Follow your kids’ interests
By relying on your children’s interests, you’ll be able to get them excited and enthusiastic about exercising. Otherwise, they might see exercise as a tedious chore that they desperately want to skip. Thus, you should come up with an activity or sport that your kids will really enjoy doing.
Make it appropriate
When choosing a specific activity or exercise, you need to adjust the level of difficulty to your children’s abilities. If you pick an easy activity, they will get bored pretty quickly, while an activity that is too difficult will discourage children and lower their self-esteem. You need to find a difficulty level that is slightly above your kids’ abilities. This way, they will have a challenge that they can achieve if they put enough effort.
Be active as a family
You cannot motivate your children to be more active if you and your spouse spend your days watching movies. Instead, you should be active role models and engage in family activities. Instead of organising a family movie night, you should plan an active family outing, such as hiking or bicycle riding. Not only will you all be active, but you’ll also spend quality time together.
Use screen time to your advantage
There will be rainy or snowy days when your children simply cannot leave the house and the only thing they want to do is play video games or watch cartoons. This is a great opportunity for you to use their screen time to your advantage. They can play interactive video games that encourage physical activity, such as tennis, bowling or even dancing.
Make it fun
By turning exercising into a fun game, you’ll be able to appeal to your children and inspire them to exercise. For example, you can invite your kids’ friends and organise a dancing competition or a freeze dance. Instead of asking them to do a boring exercise, hide some toys around the house or backyard and ask them to find them in a limited amount of time. Add an interesting prize and your kids’ motivation will go through the roof. The more interesting an activity is, the more enthusiastic your kids will be.
Sign them up for team sports
Sports activities are the most popular extra-curricular activity for children. It has been shown that an organised sports activity can enhance a child’s cognitive skills and general personal development. Thus, you should consider signing up your kids for team sports that they might enjoy. Soccer is a popular option both among boys and girls that will help them improve both their fitness and social skills. The moment your kids lay their eyes on their stylish and fun soccer accessories, they will feel proud and enthusiastic. They won’t stop talking about their soccer practice and new athlete friends.
Parents have a crucial role in motivating their children to be more active and ensuring their well-being. By making physical activity fun and exciting, you’ll simply inspire your kids to be more physically active.