Regular exercise is important to help your children stay healthy mentally and physically. It’s all about supporting childhood development, so your children should be active several days a week, if not daily. However, there are a lot of challenges and technologies that come with modern-day life that can make it difficult to motivate your kids to get moving.
So, stay tuned as we explore easy ways to help motivate your children to get more exercise, put the video games on pause and learn healthy new habits in no time at all…
Computers, apps, and video games have a stereotype of melting kids minds and negatively impacting their growth, but they’re not all bad. Some video game writers often craft their games to be educational and encourage problem-solving! However, they’re still not a total substitute for all the benefits that physical activity can have on child development.
The benefits of exercise on child development
Research suggests that active children are likely to become inactive adults – so there are long-lasting consequences such as heart disease for those who don’t get out and about much. Exercising can reduce this risk, but there are more positives too:
- It results in higher levels of fitness and cardiovascular efficiency
- It helps build stronger bones and healthier muscles
- It improves posture and balance
- It encourages better sleep quality
And that’s just the physical benefits. Exercising also boasts plenty of childrens mental health and emotional advantages such as increased self-esteem, lower stress levels and better socialising skills.
So, how can you encourage your child to exercise more and enjoy it?
Ways to help your child exercise
- Get everyone involved
Not everyone likes standing out and doing things alone, so lead by example and get the whole family in on the action. Try going on walks together, playing family ball games and swimming in the pool – anything that gets their hearts pumping will help. Plus, making it a fun and social activity can provide additional emotional benefits for their development.
- Go green with your commute
We all know that it’s quicker to jump in the car for the school run. But if it’s not too far, why not walk or cycle instead? You could even pop on some roller skates and learn a new skill together!
If you live a bit too far, you could drive and then walk the last 10 minutes or so to get in some steps. Either way, it’s a great opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint, and it opens up conversations about the environment to help your kids be more considerate and caring too.
- Make it a competition
Those of us with a pedometer or smart watch have no doubt walked around the house at the end of the day to reach our step goal once or twice. That’s what competition and goals do – they motivate you. It’s the same for kids. So why not make it a competition to see who can walk to most in a day, or who can run fastest?
Have a prize ready for the winner, whether it’s being able to choose dinner that night or an extra snack – it’ll motivate them more than you think.
- Give them chores
Washing the car or cleaning their rooms, even vacuuming can be classed as exercise, and it teaches them valuable life lessons too like being part of a team and the importance of finishing what you started.
- Set them up on play dates at the park.
Playing at the park alone has loads of physical benefits but add in a social aspect, and it’s an all-around winner. From emotional intelligence to teamwork and more, playing together at the playground with all the slides, swings and other kit gives children the chance to develop both emotionally and physically at once.
Exercise for kids doesn’t need to be an unhappy thing forced on them – it can be adapted into everyday activities and made far more fun (and beneficial) with the inclusion of others. So be a role model, walk together, play together and more to help your child develop physically and mentally as they exercise.