If you’re concerned about a lack of physical activity in your kids’ lives, it’s never too late to try and introduce good habits. Childhood obesity is at an all-time high, and millions of children are overweight by the time they start secondary school.
Physical activity is vital at any age for mental and physical wellbeing, so it’s important you encourage children to incorporate some sports or exercise into their daily routine. As Kids Health says, http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/exercise.html, exercise equals stronger muscles and bones.
If you’re struggling to motivate them to get off the couch, here are some ideas.
Make fitness a game
You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to set up a game of frisbee or piggy-in-the-middle, and such games are a fantastic way for families to get a bit of exercise together while having fun outdoors. If you can round together a few friends or extended family members, set up a game of rounders or cricket in a local park or on the beach. Kids are more likely to be enthusiastic about exercise if it’s fun.
Find what sport they love and nurture their interest
Not everyone is good at – or enjoys – the same activities, and being forced to play a sport they are bad at and strongly dislike is never going to encourage them to exercise. Most children will excel in at least a couple of sports if given the chance, or at least they’ll find something they enjoy. This could be football, tennis, sailing, cross-country, swimming or straightforward aerobics. Encourage kids to try out different after-school activities or sign them up for taster sessions with local clubs and sports associations if they have expressed an interest in a particular activity. If there’s nothing suitable locally, set up your own casual group with neighbours or friends. You can easily buy football team kits – or equipment for any other sport – from websites such as https://www.kitking.co.uk/.
Limit TV time
Or smartphone, tablet or laptop time. Being sedentary is one of the worst things we can do for our health, and it’s particularly bad for children who will develop bad habits and find it harder to get fit in later life. Don’t leave children watching TV or playing console games for hours whenever they like. Set a limit for screen time and ensure you enforce it.