Keeping kids active is one of the biggest challenges facing modern day parents. Aside from the general obesity crisis, the pandemic has caused millions of people to adopt more sedentary lifestyles. With the right strategy, however, encouraging increased activity needn’t be a struggle.
Here are five simple strategies that will lead you to success.
- Find a sports team
Playing sports will benefit your child’s development in many different ways. As well as strength and fitness, it’ll boost mental growth and social skills. Moreover, joining an amateur sports team also brings a sense of structure to their week. Even if it’s two hours of exercise per week, this is a great starting point not least because they’ll be having fun with friends.
It’s also a move that helps them learn about winning and losing, as well as practice leading to progress.
- Make activities a game
Exercise should be fun, especially for youngsters. A Garmin Vivofit 4 sports watch will track their activities and turn fitness into a game. Kids are rewarded for hitting their daily targets, progressing through a Star Wars-based game. In turn, they’ll take more steps without even thinking about it. They’ll also want to better their past records.
When they want to stay fit rather than feeling forced to do it, they’ll see better results. Crucially, it’ll aid their mindset for their teen years.
- Use activity-based chores
While fitness should feel fun, you can also encourage increased activity levels in daily chores. Getting the kids involved with spring cleaning the garden is a great example. You can also consider growing fruit and veg, or finding active tasks around the home. Kids won’t really think of these tasks as exercise, but it all adds to their activity levels.
Crucially, it can teach them about work ethic and other key life lessons. Not least when they are given rewards for their hard work. Be sure to choose age-appropriate ideas.
- Find active video games
Kids love video games. While many parents assume that they are the enemy, the truth is that they can be a very useful tool for increased activity. Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventure is one example of an active video game. Meanwhile, there are plenty of sporting titles and dance games that will help your kids burn calories.
So, while too much screen time on the wrong type of titles can be bad, games aren’t the enemy. There might even be other games which aren’t necessarily active ones, that your kids are interested in. That’s okay! If your kid spends a few hours on active games, then you can reward them by letting them play the other games they like. You could even gift them some in-game paraphernalia they’ve been eyeing for a while, from shops like yes gamers. This can help create a balance between keeping your kids active and keeping them happy. You simply need to find the right solutions.
Video games have been linked to increased grey matter volume in the brain and strengthened brain networking, which is often associated with higher cognitive function. In fact, the more intense video games that take on a theme of role playing (called RPGs) can even help with fine motor skills and could improve social skills. Some studies reveal that players who genuinely enjoy and are satisfied with the gameplay have higher mental well-being, which can directly translate to your child being happy. So maybe some video game time can be good for them? Especially if you have slightly older kids who are in their teens, then they may wish to Play Dislyte or similar RPG games simply because they have a great time with it! Encourage that. You could work out a nice gaming schedule with them that has a mix of both active games like those mentioned above, and the ones they enjoy so much (like Dislyte or League of Legends!)
- Use activities as rewards
Finally, exercise can be used as a reward. For young kids, a play center is the perfect outlet for this. Meanwhile, family bike rides and days out at adventure parks can work wonders. Above all else, it gets children and teenagers excited about exercise. Once you’ve achieved this goal, there is no looking back. Again, the right mindset is king.
When used in conjunction with the ideas above, you will see great results. And if you want to see the best outcomes, lead by example. Active parents breed active parents.