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Motivate Your Child to Be Active

B&GClub0026Some kids are constantly out playing, running, jumping and generally always moving.  For those kids, getting enough exercise is second nature because they are always active.  However, for some kids, being active is a little harder.  For these types of kids, we must find out what motivates them and lead by example.  With help from WebMD, we have come up with a list of ways to help motivate your child to be more active. Comment below and tell us how you motivate your child to be more active.

Have your child connect personally

What anyone needs, as far as motivation, to get off the couch is personal and your kids are no different.  What is their personal reason to get up and be active?  This might be difficult at first and may require some additional conversations on what it means to be healthy.  However, explaining the benefits as to why being healthy is important and how being unhealthy can lead to health problems, can be valuable for your kids to understand its importance.  Let them try and come up with reasons that being active will positively help them.

Set realistic goals for being active

Experts agree that kids should be active for at least 60 minutes a day.  You can aim for this, but if your child is completely inactive, start with a smaller goal.  Try 30 minutes a day and work up to 60.  Or pick an activity to do each day and then increase the activity time gradually.  This can be as simple as going for a walk and then increasing your distance over time.

Do something your child enjoys

What do they like to do? Are they into basketball or bike riding?  Maybe they don’t have a certain sport they like, but they enjoy the family dog.  Go on extended dog walks together to be active.  If they don’t show interest in a traditional sport or active activity, get creative with their interests and try to turn them into something active.

Plan to fit active time into their schedule

Typically, parents dictate a child’s schedule.  Therefore, it is up to the parent to make sure the child has active time built into their daily routine.  If they aren’t trying an organized sport, go on family walks, bike rides or other activities.  Instead of watching TV together as a family after dinner, take that time and do something active.

Bounce back from setbacks

You are bound to have setbacks with your child when they first start being active.  If you miss one day of doing something active, it isn’t the end of the world nor is it an excuse to stop being active all together.  Try to instill in your child that they are someone who is active.  By telling them they are an active person, it will become their identity.  That way if there is a setback, bouncing back will be much easier.

Get The Entire Family Active

B&GClub0026Getting enough physical activity into your child’s day is critical for their development as a healthy individual.  Studies show that those who feel supported by friends and family to be active, or surrounded by others interested in physical activity, are more likely to be active themselves.  This is where you as parents can step in.  There are many ways, as parents, that you can encourage physical activity.  Children need at least 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day.  It doesn’t have to be all at once, you can space it out over the day.  We have listed a few activities and steps that you and your family can take to be more active.

 

  1. Give children toys that encourage physical activity such as balls, kites and jump ropes.
  2. Encourage children to join a sports team or try a new physical activity.
  3. Limit TV time and keep TV out of a child’s bedroom.
  4. Walk to and from school a few times a week.
  5. Encourage your children to take the stairs instead of the elevator and take them yourselves – leading by example is always best.
  6. After meal times, take a walk around the block.
  7. Make family time active fun time.  Go for a family bike ride, swim, walk or play a sport together.
  8. Work with your schools to increase physical activity.  Write letters to your principal, school board and super intendant about the need for incorporating more physical activity into the school day.