You already know how important it is to exercise as an adult. The physical and chemical health benefits are invaluable, and a little extra fitness can do wonders for the self-esteem. Check out this article for more on the benefits of exercise. However, you also know that incorporating fitness into your routine is a difficult thing to do, especially later in life. You get set in your habits, and working out becomes just another thing to procrastinate or dread.
Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case. Habits are formed young, and studies have shown that active kids become active adults. Regret that you haven’t been hitting the gym lately? Wish you had a little more coordination? While there’s plenty you can do for yourself now, you might as well give the next generation a helping hand. Help kids stay active- it’s one of the greatest gifts you can give.
Of course, getting started is still hard, no matter what your age. If you’re looking for some ways to help kids stay active, you’re in luck. Below, we’ve got four rules of thumb to kick things off.
Ways to Help Kids Stay Active And Fit
1. Keep it light.
If exercise is going to be a lifelong practice, it’ll need to be fun. Let your child choose the activity they pursue. Ask for their input as the days go by. Remember that the goal is to help your child enjoy physical activity, not to achieve any particular time or score.
2. Start slow.
Though it’s always tempting to strike while the iron is hot, starting too quickly can tire out and discourage kids. Suggest to your kids that they jog just one lap, or take just a few shots at the net. Let their enthusiasm grow as the days go by, instead of starting strong and fading. Building a good foundation will help prevent injuries, too.
3. Change it up.
Sometimes, all you need is a change of scenery. Fight boredom or lack of motivation and help your kids stay active by trying a new environment. Test out a new park or field. Get together with a different group of kids. You’d be surprised at how quickly the same old sport or game feels fresh again.
4. Use rewards.
Rewards don’t need to be expensive. Bring some baseballs and a bat to track practice, and break up each lap with three slow pitches. For younger kids, keep a star chart and hand out a sticker for each small success. Just tracking and acknowledging progress will help kids stay active by creating a sense of accomplishment and associating exercise with happiness.
Kids and exercise are a natural fit, and sometimes all it takes to kick-start a lifetime of fitness is a little support. Check out these 4 ways to help kids stay active, and let us know what other strategies you use.