Studies have shown that kids that get a sufficient amount of physical activity perform better in school, and have higher self-esteem. Unfortunately, kids may not be getting as much physical activity as they need. Between studying and spending leisure time glued to a screen, it sometimes feels impossible to cram in some good old fashioned play.
While us adults think of exercise as hitting the treadmill or a spin class, exercise looks a lot closer to fun for kids. Think dance, soccer, bike rides, swimming or chasing friends during a game of tag.
Sort Out the Logistics
While it’s easy to just tell your child to go outside and play with a stick in the backyard, the reality is, many parents don’t feel comfortable just setting their kids free in the world. Instead, help your child pick a sport or physical activity that fits easily with their schedule, and is convenient for you to drive or walk them to.
Teach Kids a New Sport or Activity
Sometimes little ones need a little guidance. Head out to the park with a soccer ball and show your kids some moves, maybe they’ll be inspired to sign up for their school’s team or a local academy such as the one at primalkeeperacademy.com. Or, teach your child to swim, ski or kayak. If you’ve got an outdoor hobby, it’s definitely worth it to share with your child. Not only will they get moving, but you’ll make some great memories in the process.
Provide Toys that Encourage Activity
Classic toys that don’t rely on electronic capabilities might encourage some movement. Provide your child with the resources they need to have fun outside. We’re talking balls of all sorts, jump ropes, even things like sidewalk chalk that may encourage art and creativity as much as getting some of their daily steps in. Or look toward things like skateboards or roller skates for older kids. A cute little girls backpack where they can put their toys would also encourage them to carve out outdoor playtime more often.
Limit Screen Time
Unplugging the internet from time to time, or implementing caps on television or phone time frees up some space for kids to get out and move. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children get no more than 1-2 hours of screen time per day. Use the free time to plan an activity like a hike, a bike ride or just a walk around the neighborhood. Plan ahead, and check the weather forecast. Weather Live Free gives an in-depth look at the forecast, so you can best plan to take advantage of a beautiful day, or look for some rainy day fun. Learn more here.
In the end, if you’ve got a child that is resistant to physical fitness, you may need to be creative. Activities that include walking or riding a bike can easily be incorporated into your life, you need to remember, just because something is easy for you, doesn’t mean it will be for your kids. Take them to the park with a couple friends in tow, go on a hike and have a picnic, encourage your child to try a bunch of different sports until they find the right one — with patience you may just find that kids will actually love being active.