How to Get Your Kids Excited About Exercise

By Debra Rodzinak

When my son was young, it seemed like we tried every single sport out there.  Football, baseball, swimming, golf, and track.  It wasn’t until he found soccer that he really got excited about exercise.  He would often come home from school and take a run around the block to “increase the lung capacity.”  I was happy we finally found a sport he liked.

Not all children enjoy exercise, but by following these helpful tips, getting them out into the sunshine and fresh air may be a bit easier.

Exercise Together

Don’t expect your child to magically develop an exercise regime if you are sitting in front of the television.  Get up and get out with your child.  Go for a walk.  Talk with your child about fun things, not homework or chores.

An Hour Per Day

It is recommended that children move around 60 minutes every day.  Aerobics, muscle strengthening, and bone strengthening exercises should be performed.  These can be fun activities like playing tag, playing on the monkey bars, or jumping rope.

Pedometers

If your child is like mine, they love gadgets.  A pedometer can be a wonderful motivational tool, especially if you make it a competition.  See who walks the most steps in one day.

Grab the Gear

Having simple, fun items such as a jump rope or a Frisbee can get kids up and moving.  An inexpensive beach ball can give imaginative kids hours of fun.

Location, Location, Location

Playing in the back yard can get a little boring day after day.  Switch it up by taking kids to the park, playground, or hiking trail.  Search the internet for free parks where kids can explore.

Classes

Tennis, yoga, or karate classes are great ways to get kids interested in exercise.  Ask them which ones they prefer and let them try each one.  Many providers will allow a child to “test out” a class for free the first time.

Video Games

If your child is like mine, video games will always be a favorite pastime.  I purchased a Wii Fit for him.   I have to admit, I enjoyed it almost as much as he did.  Just make sure that they mix this type of exercise with some outdoor time.

No matter which activities you decide to try, just remember that your child wants to have fun.  If they aren’t having fun, they won’t continue to reap the benefits of exercise.

 

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