10 Ways to Motivate Your Kids To Exercise
Many parents are worried about their kids watching too much TV or getting too much screen time. With the childhood obesity rate at over 1/3 for children ages 10 – 17, parents need to set an example of a healthy lifestyle. It is a known fact that kids grow up doing what they see!
If you want your kids to be active, they need to see you being active. Whether its biking, swimming, tennis, boating, skiing, basketball or running, creating a habit of exercise and teaching your children to appreciate the value of being active can have a lasting, positive impact on thier future. Getting kids moving, however, can be a challenge. Here are some effective ways that can help you create a positive association with excercise and get your children motivated and excited about fitness.
10 ways to get your kids motivated
GET THIER BUY IN
The easiest way to get your kids moving is to get them on board. Talk to them about why you want to be active as a family. This may be due to health reasons such as high blood pressure, family heart problems, weight concerns or diabetes. Someone in your family may be struggling with depression or you may want to utilize exercise to relieve stress. Whatever your reason, talk about the benefits of being active with your children and get them on board!
For anyone that has kids, getting everyone to cooperate can be a challenge, and sometimes it might not be worth the fight. If you have kids that are not interested in exercising as a family, set an example by exercising by yourself. They will notice and one day may do it on their own, because kids do what they see. However, if you are wanting to involve your family, even for a few days a week, be ready to be flexible. It may be frustrating when you are wanting to get your own workout in and one of your kids is struggling and you end up needing to walk or go slower. It’s important to realize that sometimes your workout may suffer. However, if you stick with it, you’ll find that most of the time you end up running after them and working harder because you need to carrying someone on your back, or catching up to them on their bikes.
STAND YOUR GROUND
Once you get their buy in, your job is to be consistent and firm, and not let your kids pressure you into canceling the day’s activity. It’s just like jobs, homework, or brushing their teeth – it’s just something you do. You decide what you’re doing and then you figure out a way to get it done. As a parent it’s important to not allow your kids to beat you up. You’re doing them a favor and should not be afraid of them.
SIGN UP FOR A 5K
Are you looking for a fun activity that is perfect for the entire family? Sign up for a 5K race! Signing up for a local 5K race which can teach them they can do hard things by setting goals and working towards achieving them. Need help finding a race in your area? Check out www.active.com for a list of 5k races near you!
Kids like routine but it’s also important to mix it up and add variety to your workouts. We all get bored, especially children. You can fix this by doing different activities and changing locations by exploring new parks or trails. Get your kids involved with creating routines and workouts, and let them choose the exercise for that day. This will help keep your children invested and engaged with your new program.
REWARD YOUR KIDS
Rewards can help motivate your kids to keep them on track and working towards their goals. After a great workout, take your kids to get a healthy treat (smoothies are great!) or take them to the pool to cool off. For younger children, creating a reward chart will help them visually track their accomplishment and get them excited for the prize at the end of the week!
There is nothing more valuable to a child than being praised by a parent. Words of encouragement and recognition will not only bring a smile to their face, but can also help build a healthy self image and motivate them to keep working!
CHANGE THEIR PERSPECTIVE
If kids are taught that exercise is for those who need to lose weight- they will grow up resenting exercise and creating negative beliefs about exercise. When we look at exercise as a way to celebrate what we CAN do instead of as a punishment, we learn to LOVE being active. It’s all in a change of perspective!
DRESS THE PART
Get your kids ready to exercise inside and out. We all know that dressing the part can help motivate us, and sometimes push us to do more than we normally would. Take your kids shopping for workout clothes and help them pick out something that is comfortable and will make them feel good.
TEACH LIFE LESSONS
It’s not just about getting exercise, but it also learning that they can do hard things and doing things they don’t always want to do. It doesn’t matter how difficult the workout was, or how slow they went, the only thing that matters is they did it! Kids need to learn that they can do hard things! Once they do this often enough they start believing in themselves and learn that they can do hard things because they have done it before.