How To Encourage Your Kids To Be More Active

How to encourage your kids to be more active. Kids tend to spend too much time sitting and using electronics. It's time to get them moving. #kids #family #healthy #parenting #kidssports

Kids often end up being cooped up inside because they are either having to do their homework, having dinner or even playing on a new game that has just been released. With all of the busyness, it can be hard for them to get out of the house, let alone exercise when they do.

 

When the weather is nice, I try to get my kids outside for at least an hour, either right after school or after dinner. When we moved to Alabama, I was shocked to find out that the kids don’t always get outside recess here and if they do it’s only for about 20 minutes.

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I recently read the book The Finnish Way by Katja Pantzar. One of my favorite parts of the book was about their education system. The amount of outside time kids get during a school day is huge compared to the schools in the US. The kids in Finland play outside in almost any weather too. I love the idea of my kids not being cooped up in a germ-filled room all day long.

 

I don’t plan on moving to Finland anytime soon, so I’ve come up with some other ways to kids active.

 

If you want to read more about the Finnish lifestyle, I highly recommend this book. I learned so much from Katja Pantzar and have tried to implement some of the ideas into my own life.

 

 

Help your Kids Early-On

 

If you have an infant, consider a child massage. This helps you to stimulate their muscles, and it can also help them with their core strength as well. Little things like this can go a long way, and you would be surprised at how much it can help their development in later life.

 

Build your Routine around Physical Activity

 

Ideally, you need to get the whole family up after dinner to do some physical activity. You don’t have to do a lot. Sometimes playing catch or even going for a walk can be more than enough. You might also want to go on a family bike ride or skip stones in the local lake.

 

By incorporating physical exercise into your family life, you can show your child that it is a team effort while also spending some quality time together. Start small, around 15 minutes per day, and then build it up over time. When you do this, you can easily show them the importance of moving around and eventually it will come naturally to everyone involved. If you don’t have time to get out of the house, then trampolining is a great option. You can do it in the comfort of your own backyard, and everyone can get involved! Click here to look at the best trampoline you can get. When I jump on the trampoline with my kids, I’m exhausted. It’s a serious cardio workout!

 

 

Lead by Example

 

Think about it, what is your physical outlet? Do you run? Go on walks with the dog? Do yoga? By being an active role model,  you can encourage your kids and anyone else in the family as well. If you know that deep down, you aren’t active, you can easily change this. It is never too late to start, and when you start to see results, you will soon see that all the effort is well worth it. Not only will you get into better shape but you will be healthier. You’ll notice an increase in your happiness and energy levels.

 

 

You might also like: 4 Ways I’m Getting In Shape This Year

 

Ride your Bike! Don’t Drive

This is another concept that The Finnish Way discusses. I was surprised to learn that subdivisions and cities are designed with more bike and walking paths than roads, encouraging people to bike or walk more. How brilliant is that!

When possible, you need to ride your bike instead of driving. Get the bikes out, plan a safe route and then set off on your journey. Biking or walking is a fantastic habit to start at any age.

If you are planning on going on bike rides then make sure that everyone has a helmet, and that you leave plenty of time as well. The last thing that you want is to rush everyone because this will make the whole thing unenjoyable. You may even find that it becomes a chore as well.

 

Expose your Kids to a World of Fun

 

It’s great to be specialized in a sport. If your kids don’t like the idea of any particular sport, then let them try a couple of different things. It will give them the chance to develop their skills and will also help them to find out what they enjoy. Playing sports is a great way to make new friends, even for moms! My two older daughters participate in sports. That’s right; I’m a soccer and cross-country mom. I love that my girls are learning teamwork, making friends and being active all at the same time.

 

 

Praise

 

When you see that your child is enjoying the activity that they are doing, cheer them on. You should always try to keep the [positive attitude going. The more you can help them to understand the value in what they are doing, the more likely they will be to stick with it.

You don’t want to pressure them, however. If you push them to go out when they don’t want to or if you try to encourage them too much, it may have the opposite effect.

Focus on Fun

 

Many kids aren’t ready for competition until they are over the age of 10. Sure, you may think that your child has a specific talent and you may even encourage them to play competitive sports as well. Competition can be good, but if you put the focus on winning it, it can cause your child to lose interest, and it may even put additional pressure on them when they lose. They need to know that it doesn’t matter whether they win or lose because all that matters is that they tried and that they had fun.

My eight-year-old daughter has the best attitude when it comes to soccer. The first game she ever played was a loss. I was expecting tears but instead was met by happiness and excitement. I remember her telling me that she had so much fun, there was no mention of the loss.

 

 

Choose the Right School

 

When choosing a school for your child, it helps to take into account the amount of physical activity they are going to be doing there. Kids need a lot of opportunities to move around. It helps them with their motor skills, and it will also help them to develop skills that will help them in the future. This can include things like running, skipping, jumping and more.

Structured play and unstructured play are great for children. If you have an older child, then don’t be afraid to look into the sporting teams available to them. If you have to pay to join a team, then look into the fee, the price of the equipment and even the team atmosphere that is present as well. This will help you to give your child the best possible support when it comes to their school life, and it also helps you to try to keep them active if that is something that they are interested in.

 

Don’t forget to check out The Finnish Way! 

However you choose to encourage your kids to be active, the number one thing is to make sure to limit their electronic use. When my kids are taking a break from their electronics, they are much happier, more creative and more active.

 

For more tips on getting your kids electronic use under control, check out this post.

How to encourage your kids to be more active. Kids tend to spend too much time sitting and using electronics. It's time to get them moving. #kids #family #healthy #parenting #kidssports

 

Written by: Devon

2 COMMENTS

  1. Allison Shorter | Healthy Living in Colorado | 12th Feb 19

    Great ideas! Thank you. We enjoy hiking as a family and go to the neighborhood gym together 1-2 times a week. They don’t always want to, but I know that we are teaching them habits, right? I don’t always feel like it either! 🙂

    • dbern582@gmail.com | 12th Feb 19

      My kids were never excited about going hiking until we actually started up a trail!

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