In today’s world filled with video games, computer games and hundreds of different television channels, getting kids motivated to go outside and play or exercise can seem like a difficult task. Here are some simple ways to get kids motivated and get moving! With the rate of obesity in kids on the rise it is more important than ever to encourage them to exercise.
The first step in motivating them to exercise is to make it fun. Making it look like a chore or something they have to do will not appeal to them at all. If at all possible invest in some fun toys such as a jump rope, some roller skates, a skate board, bicycle (do not forget the helmet!) or anything else that promotes exercise. Most kids will be excited at the prospect of getting new toys and trying them out.
Next, start turning off the computer and television. Make it a rule in the house that for at least 2 hours a day the television and computer get turned off. While kids may not necessarily exercise for 2 hours it will still be an extra boost in getting them to put their attention elsewhere and focus on other activities. This is also good for parents. Now is the time to take out that book you have been wanting to read or just enjoy the sounds of silence.
Enrolling kids in sports or an athletics program at the local YMCA is another excellent way to get them active. For those who are living on a strict budget, the YMCA offers special scholarship plans for low-income families making it possible for kids to go. Other sports programs also offer financial breaks for those who qualify. Find out what your child enjoys doing and encourage them to try out and participate.
Get kids out of the house and go visit a local park. Most parks have some sort of playgrounds, hiking trails, basketball hoops or even tennis courts that are free to use. In addition to being a great motivator to get kids exercising, most parks are free to get into or they charge a very small fee for parking or admisssion.
Lastly, the best way to get your kids moving and active is to do it with them. From a very young age kids will try to mimic their parents. Chances are, if you are active, then your child will try to be active. Ask them to work out alone side of you doing some yoga or zumba. Get out there and play some basketball with them, chase them around the playground or take them for a small nature hike. Not only will you stay active and fit yourself, but it is a great opportunity to spend some quality time together and make some memories.
Sources Cited: My own experience.