In the last several years, the average amount of time kids spend being active has drastically declined. A recent study by the National Institute of Health shows physical activity levels in youth under 19 are the same as a 60-year old adult. Along with limited activity comes an increase in risk factors related to obesity, heart disease, and other health risks for kids.
We need to get our kids moving! And not just for the physical benefits. Fitness and physical activity also have social and emotional benefits – for all of us.
So, how do you motivate your kids to get off the couch, moving, and having fun? Here are three suggestions on how to get kids excited about physical fitness:
1. Find the “right” activity.
Find an activity or sport that matches your child’s age and developmental level. Your son or daughter may not be ready for a competitive sports team, but they might enjoy a recreational soccer or basketball team.
Also, we can’t assume that the same activities we enjoyed as kids will also be enjoyable for our own kids. Let your child figure out what they seem to enjoy the most.
2. Encourage active play.
At some point during the day, your child will probably sit down in front of a TV or device. You can encourage kids to limit this screentime by providing other play options that get kids up and moving around. Provide toys, games, balls, and other pieces of equipment at home to motivate kids not only to be imaginative but also to move more.
3. Set a good example.
Show your kids that being active is a priority in your life, too. Prioritize and make time for exercise. You could even use the time your child is participating in their sport or activity to work out yourself. Always cast a positive light on fitness and talk about how being active makes you feel better throughout the day.
If you’re interested in finding out how Kids First Gymnastics in Cedar Rapids can help your child get excited about physical activity, contact us today.