According to recent surveys, 1 in 3 children are not exercising enough. Many do less than thirty minutes of activity a day apparently. With boys outnumbering the girls when it comes to taking part in some form of physical exercise. Of course, this will be of no surprise to you, especially if your children are currently sat in front of the television screen playing video games or watching their favourite shows. And if they aren’t doing that, they may well be sat on their scrolling through their Facebook feeds or watching YouTube videos on their phones.
As the parent, you need to take action. Exercise is good for both your children’s health and happiness levels. It’s important to find ways to encourage them to move more and sit less. Here are some tips you might find helpful.
Be a good role-model
Don’t tell your kids off for not exercising enough when you’re sitting catching up with Friends reruns and watching adorable cat videos on YouTube. Take the opportunity to exercise yourself, perhaps by playing active games with your children in the garden, or by going on bike rides around your local area. Not only will you improve the fitness of yourself and your children, but you will get to bond with them too. Creating special memories that don’t involve screen time.
Enrol your kids onto fun activities
We are just about to enter the school holidays , so there are bound to be activities in your local area that your children can get involved in. From holiday clubs to swim classes, do a Google search to discover the types of activities that are available. And going beyond the school hols, there might be activities at your child’s school or the local leisure centre. Get an idea of what your children are into, and encourage them to participate in the relevant groups or classes.
Stop taking the car everywhere
When it comes to your morning school runs, the car is probably a godsend. Especially if your children struggle to get out of bed at the appropriate time. However, why not find ways to speed up the school run so you can take the walk your kids to school instead of driving them. And if your children are averse to walking, let them use their bikes or scooters. If you are only ever travelling short distances with your kids, such as to your local shops or to their playdates, ditch the car and encourage everybody to use their feet instead.
Give them gifts that promote movement
Such as? Well, think footballs, roller boots, bikes, motion-controlled video games, basketballs, and even fitness trackers. Set them up with trendy running shoes too and fashionable tracksuits to give them greater incentive to get outside. So, when Christmas and their birthdays come around again, consider the types of activities your children might be interested in with a little push, and buy them something appropriate to match.
I hope these suggestions were useful to you, especially if your children are currently peering at you over their smartphones or gamepads. Let us know your thoughts, and if you have any other suggestions, please do us all our (and our children a favour) and share them with us.