Getting kids off the couch and engaged in physical activity is a challenge that all parents face, and the increasing interest in video games and smartphones only makes it harder to keep kids active. Yet, there are many things you can do besides getting upset and unplugging their electronics. With a little ingenuity, you can motivate kids to be active and get moving on their own.
Model Physical Fitness
Kids depend upon the adults around them to model a healthy lifestyle. Spend a few minutes thinking about how you spend your time at home. Perhaps, everyone in the family buries their head in their smartphones in the evening. Instead, gather your kids and go for a walk after dinner. Alternatively, round up the neighbors for a soccer game at the park. Adults versus kids is always fun! Showing your kids that you enjoy being active will encourage them to make exercise a part of their lifestyle.
Send Them to Summer Camp
Sleepaway camp is more than just a way for parents to teach kids to be more independent. At summer camp, there are tons of outdoor activities planned that will challenge kids both physically and mentally. As your kid does exciting things such as learn how to perform a jump on water skis, they will hardly even notice that they are getting exercise. Many of these activities become lifelong loves that encourage an active lifestyle well into adulthood.
Explore Alternatives to Favorite Sports
Sometimes, kids get bored with their current outlets for exercise. When this happens, try switching it up to spur some motivation. For example, dance class can help a gymnast improve their rhythm and flexibility or soccer can improve kicking skills for a football player. Doing something new for a season often revives a kid’s interest in staying physically active.
Trying to compete with video games is not difficult when you know how to tap into your kid’s interests. Instead of offering the same, boring suggestion to go outside and play, give your kid some genuine opportunities to try out new skills. By focusing on filling those periods of downtime, such as summers, with wholesome outdoor activities, your kid will be excited to discover their strength and stamina improving with each new activity they join.