It’s a hard fact to swallow that our children are not as exposed to the same active childhood that we were. Endless summers on the beach, and winter days spent in the backyard amusing ourselves; It’s hard to imagine childhood as anything else, until now. You don’t need a lesson on what has changed, but you may need a few tips on how to get your kids excited about being active. Perhaps they once were and you are looking to reactive that interest, or perhaps they are new to physical activity altogether. So, let’s get them off the couch, and into a sweat.
Make it fun!
Walking has untold benefits, but it’s a hard sell to your kids who may have a different idea of fun. Behold the kids bike. Be prepared, because this will get them excited about being active and have them out of the house for as long as there is light. The best part about getting your kid bike riding is that there are unlimited paths, tracks and trails in any given city that they will never get to see them all. You can even start to bring bikes on your family holidays as an activity that will keep them active and engaged from arrival to departure.
Think outside the box
Our kids throw around the word ‘boring’ so easily. Lucky, we don’t take it seriously, as just about all the things we enjoy are tarnished with that very label. Take this as an opportunity to think outside the box and thoroughly delight them by suggesting an adventure sport they could only have ever dreamed of. Rock climbing is a hugely popular activity with kids, and one that can become a special occasion occurrence or a permanent fixture in your little one’s calendar. You will be the coolest parent alive for introducing your child to this sport, and they will feel like a dare devil while being completely supported – everyone wins!
Make it a group activity
No, this isn’t a way to get the parents together again. Although it’s a great side benefit. Initiating group activities and sports will teach your kids some fundamental learnings on teamwork and problem solving, and they are less likely to lose interest if all their friends are hooked into the same thing. When your kids transition from primary to secondary school they will likely be thrown into a different group of people and have different sports exposed to them. If they already have a competitive edge and a keen interest in sports, they will continue to follow this path and get even more fun from their games.
Functional fitness refers to fitness that enhances your everyday movements and activity. That may not be a strong proposition to your kids, but it is one that will continue their good health and limber lifestyle. So, how can you integrate this into your lifestyle with a fun angle? Start being the family that is known for walking and catching public transport. When you need to head to the supermarket or return some books to the library, do so on foot and allow your kids to enjoy the journey and find fun in the most mundane physical activities. Not a bad disposition for a child to have.
Forging new habits isn’t always the most convenient of endeavors, but these have long term benefits and simply allow your kids to just have fun. If you challenge the whole family with keeping active (and enjoying yourself while you’re at it), it will be far more successful as everyone is geared in to the same goal.