How You Can Encourage Your Child To Be Active

Mar 02, 2016
Tagged with: How You Can Encourage Your Child To Be Active

Just recently, I noticed kids are not into games that actually make them go out and spread a leg or run or do something that can count as physical activity. Ask any parent about what games do their kids love to play and you’ll get a list of PlayStation games or the games they download on their phones. Only a slight percentage of children these days, are actually a part of something which can be counted as physical activity. Although being physically active is essential for children in order to stimulate their growth in a healthy manner.

What categorizes as physical activity?
According to WHO, “Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure.” Most parents can’t really define as to what categorizes as physical activity and what not, the definition by WHO, explains how anything that involves movement of your body and requires energy to fuel that movement of your body’s bone and muscles can be termed as physical activity. To name a few, activities like, cycling, swimming, running, walking or any other sport are all various types of physical activities you can indulge your kids in.

Benefits of Physical Activity:

According to health experts and doctors it is very important for your child to at least stay physically active for an hour, every day. This all sounds so informative and important that all you want now is to see your kid playing out with his friends, taking part in sports or finding him/her, physical activities. However, there sits your little one with a big bowl of chips and his PlayStation. As a parent, you are also responsible to motivate and encourage your child to be physically active. Here’s how you can do so. At a young age, when your child’s body undergoes several developmental changes, it is important for the body to actively respond.  The benefits are unlimited, like:

  • Muscle and bone strength
  • Healthy weight
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Good and peaceful sleep
  • Improved mental health
  • Less tantrums
  • Better Immunity System

 Know What Your Kid Likes

While some kids are naturally active some tend to stay away from such activities, due to various reasons. The best way to encourage your child to be active is to understand what they like and whether or not there are any sports or games you can help them with. A good rule of thumb to do so is to find activities that are interesting and exciting altogether, along with your kid. Some children are not much into sports like, football or baseball but they love to run around, you can make games out of that or simply you play along with them. The more fun you make it, the more interested your child would be.

Never discourage the young and growing

Sometimes, naturally active children are left unmotivated to participate in sports or other activities at school or otherwise due to failure or some injury. Never, ever make your kids feel that way, for they should learn at a young age that you don’t always play to win. Nothing should be just about the trophies one can get; although, this does contribute as an encouraging factor but you should never set rules where your kids are bound to win. Failure should never frustrate your kid. Also, a fracture or some sort of injury, sometimes, serves as a bad experience, enough to make your kids stay away from that sport. However, it is your responsibility to get the fear out of your kid’s mind. Don’t force them into something; make them pick at their own pace. If you are being too pushy about something, chances are, your kid will never do it happily. Why does exercise always have to be a chore? Make it something fun, with music involved or something that has a lot of jumps in it (kids, love jumping).

Let them do, what they can

Kids have various interests and are interested in different activities. Some are more athletic than the other and some are into different activities as their peers. Also, kids should be exposed to physical activities according to their age. Kids, 6 till 8 years old can be indulged in basic activities like throwing, jumping, catching or kicking. For kids older than that, there are more choices and now they can actually get into sports like, wheelchair basketball, baseball, hand-cycling, swimming, ballet dancing, football etc.

As parents, you are responsible for making your kids physically active. You should support, guide and most of all encourage your child to go out and play. Also, set a good example for them by regular exercise and sports.

Author: Zyana Morris

  • bobl07

    Thanks for the tips on being active. Overall, what seems to be very important is to get the heart rate up and moving. The activities listed are very important.