So many kids have trouble just sitting still during dinner, but when it comes to doing anything fitness-related, getting kids to care is an even harder struggle. No matter how active your kids are during playtime, it can be a huge challenge to incentivize activities like outdoor play and organized sports. So what’s the answer for the kid who simply refuses to do anything fitness-related? For one thing, you have to get rid of the idea that kids and exercise don’t mix. Getting your kid interested in physical activity can be as simple as changing his or her mind about fitness. Whether you use the best kids fitness monitors and trackers to do this or try to inspire interest in fun, active outdoor games with friends, you can show kids that fitness and fun don’t have to stay separate. If you’re looking for ideas to get your kids up and active, here are some ideas.
Make It Interactive
Even if your kid is a bonafide couch potato, there are plenty of ways you can encourage your kids to get moving without taking away screen time. By using interactive tools like fitbits that track progress and link up with friends’ statuses, you can encourage kids to set realistic goals and develop a healthy sense of competition. You can also get the whole family on fitbits or other tracking devices to make sure everyone’s in sync. For instance, if you encourage everyone to sign up for a fitness app like 8fit or a calorie tracker like My Fitness Pal, you can make a habit of sharing stats, tracking goals, and helping each other out with positive reinforcement. Your child shouldn’t feel alone or isolated in their fitness journey, and more importantly, they shouldn’t be made to feel like it’s some kind of punishment. If you set a great example for your child, they’ll be more inclined to integrate outdoor playtime or exercise into their routine.
Create Active Playtime
If your kid really needs a lot of incentive to get outside, make them a proposition: By doing exercise or playing outdoors, they can “earn” a certain amount of in-house privilege or screen time. For instance, if your child spends part of a beautiful day outside, give them the night off from doing the dishes or taking part in other household chores. When your child brings friends over, encourage them to spend at least an hour doing something outdoors. If you’re really having a hard time getting your kid to do anything exercise-related, making it social is a great way to make the time fly by and help it seem like less of a pain. Signing your kid up for team sports or even swim or dance lessons can be a perfect way to reach a compromise if your child simply hates exercising on their own. As long as they’re spending a few hours a week doing something physical, you’ll be helping to instill a lifelong routine.
Take Advantage of Great Weather
On rainy days, it makes sense for kids to want to cozy up with a book or an iPad. However, when the bright summer days roll around, there’s simply no excuse for staying indoors. On good weather days, try to encourage your child to spend some time outside with friends or with the rest of the family. If you can, look at the weather report and try to plan something in advance, such as a trip to a park or the beach. Once you’re in a communal setting with lots of games and activities on offer, it won’t be hard to convince your kid to get up and play. Taking advantage of sunny days will also expose your child to more vitamin D to help them associate outdoor activity with a better mood and more relaxed, exciting days of play.
Make It a Family Affair
If your child can’t stick to a goal or simply doesn’t find any type of activity fun, it’s time to get the family involved. Even if you only institute a weekly yoga night or try to play an outdoor game every weekend, you’ll be creating a community-based event that your kid can look forward to. Even if a child isn’t a fan of outdoor activity, creating an opportunity for togetherness through sports or games can help them foster more positive ideas about being active. If you’re the one making the time for family activity, you’ll be able to stick to the schedule more easily and make sure your kid is getting in the exercise they need.