These days kids love to be inside with their heads buried in an electronic device or staring at the screen. But this is not always that healthy. Here are 6 ways to get your kids to exercise more!
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6 Ways To Get Your Kids To Exercise More
When I was a kid, I spent every day outside playing. But it seems as though things are different these days. As parents, it seems like many times we have to plea and coarse our kids to go outside. They are more inclined to stay inside playing on phones or tablets. It’s no surprise that weight issues are on the rise. With this being the case, it’s more important than ever to encourage kids to get outside and exercise! The habits they pick up now will carry on through their life. So it is crucial we teach them to eat healthily and exercise, so they are more apt to do it when they become an adult and life gets busier.
Getting your kids to exercise is an uphill battle for parents these days because you’re competing with so much. But there are things you can do to help encourage them to stay active. Here are some suggestions to get your kids outside, having fun, and exercising!
Limit Screen Time
Screens are your biggest hurdle when you’re trying to get the kids outside. But if you limit the amount of time they’re allowed to spend using their phones or watching TV, they’ll be far more likely to get outside and do something. You might get some bickering to start with and some, “I’m bored!” But then they will make the choice on their own to go outside and play.
You don’t need to take away all their screen time, but limit it so they learn to do other activities again. In our family after homework is done, they can have screen time for 1 1/2 hours. This works for our family. Allowing screen time a little later on so they can play outside before it gets dark is a great option.
Join A Sports Team
Structure is important for kids so any exercise that is part of a routine is always good. Joining a sports team is a great way to encourage regular exercise each week. There are so many benefits to joining a sports team for your kids; it helps them to make new friends outside of school. It also teaches them teamwork and cooperation skills as well as keeping them fit and healthy. However, you’ll only see those benefits if they’re engaged in the sport and they actually enjoy. Allow them to pick which sports they try. This will encourage them to continue to play and practice at home.
Create A Good Outdoor Space
Often, the reason kids don’t want to go outside is that there isn’t anything for them to do. They’d obviously prefer to stay inside and entertain themselves if the yard is just an empty patch of grass. So, create a good outdoor space that they’ll enjoy playing in. Get a landscaping service to tidy up the yard and create some areas where the kids can play. Then you can get some great play equipment and some outdoor games to keep them entertained. If you turn the yard into a great play area, you can invite their friends over and get them all outside playing together.
Getting To School
Getting to school is a great way to get them to be more active. If you live close enough to walk or bicycle, have them do that instead of driving them each day. That way, even if they aren’t getting any more exercise, they’re still doing something active each and every day. You could even talk to the other parents at the school and see if you can set up a cycling club. This way the parents can take turns escorting them to school and the kids will have fun getting to and from school. The kids will be more likely to get involved if all of their friends are doing it as well.
Set A Good Example
Kids don’t always listen to what their parents tell them to do, but they do learn by example. You’re never going to convince them that they need to exercise regularly if you aren’t doing it yourself. That’s why you’ve got to set a good example for them. If they see you being more active day to day and exercising regularly, they’re more likely to start doing it themselves. Get involved with them when they’re playing outside, rather than just standing on the sidelines and watching. Find sports and games that you can play together! Go on walks after dinner. All these things set good examples for your kids to exercise more and create a stronger family bond!
Don’t Overdo It
Exercise is good for your health, but only when you do it in moderation. One of the biggest mistakes people make is exercising too much. Your body needs time to repair and recover after exercising. If you don’t allow it to do that then you’re far more likely to end up with injuries. While it’s important that you encourage your kids to exercise, you need to make sure that they aren’t overdoing it. As a general rule, kids should use strenuous exercise only 3 or 4 days out of each week and rest on the other days.
Use these simple tips to get your kids to exercise more and create a healthier more active lifestyle! What do you encourage your child to do?
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Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!