Promoting good health in a child’s life is about more than just what you feed them. Physical activity and exercise are key components to long-term health, and parents play a big role in how children see these things going forward. If you want your child to have a good understanding of the importance of physical activity, you’ll need to instill it in them as soon as possible. This guide will look into how to encourage more physical activity in children so they can live their best and healthiest lives.
Find Something That’s Fun For Them
Especially important for younger children, physical activity needs to feel fun for them. You’ll be hard pressed to find a young child who wants to go on a run of their volition. Active play is a good way to connect with your children in a healthy setting. The key thing to remember is that the activity must be fun for them. Baseball, soccer, or swimming may be fun for you, but if your child doesn’t find it fun, it’s unlikely they’ll want to keep doing it on their own.
Model Active Behavior Yourself
A good way to encourage more physical activity in your children is to model this behavior yourself. It’s more than just children wanting to do the same things they see their parents doing. How will they ever know how important physical activity is if you only ever tell them to do it without doing it yourself? They’ll wonder why you can tell them to do something that you yourself don’t participate in.
Make Time for Physical Activities
Depending on the other aspects of your child’s life, it might be difficult to find time to schedule some physical activity. Between school and extracurricular activities, they might not have much time to stay active. That’s why it’s a good idea to make plans for physical activity whenever you can. If you have time off, take them to a park instead of sitting and watching TV with them. They’ll need your help to create some free time for being active.
Respect Their Limits
Children, especially older ones, tend to push back quite hard when they feel like someone is forcing them to do something they don’t want to do. You cannot brute force your way into making your child care about physical activity or fitness. If they say they are really tired and want to stop, pushing them further will only make them want to avoid that activity the next time. Understand your child’s limitations when it comes to activity and give them time to recover if they need it.