2 Ways to Get Kids to Exercise
#1. Get them excited about the activity
Growing up, my parents offered me the choice to play soccer or softball. I tried both and although I wasn’t horrible at either sport, I didn’t love game nights. I stressed about letting the team down.
It wasn’t until adulthood that I realized it wasn’t sports that I didn’t like but playing on a team.
I’m more of a one-on-one type of girl. I prefer tennis over ball hockey, squash over volleyball. And given the choice I rather challenge myself than an opponent. I love to hike in the woods, bicycle on the rail trails and swim in my pool.
Kids need to know there are many ways to get their exercise – they need to find out whether they prefer being a team player, facing an opponent head-to-head or going solo.
As a parent, we can help our kids by offering them a variety of sports to try for a season and open up discussion about how they feel about each activity.
#2. Be a Role Model
My parents offered a weekly night at the local YMCA where we swam together as a family. They took us to forests for long walks after church on Sundays. My mom played tennis and my dad biked to and from work. They modelled a healthy life and it became part of my sinew to exercise. I didn’t flinch at the 30-minute walk to school. My three older brothers also maintained healthy lifestyles. I believe that my parents’ behaviours set the example for us.
Kids are influenced more by what we as parents do than what we say.
What are you doing with your kids to encourage them to exercise?