How to encourage children to be more active

With so many technological distractions such as TV, tablets and computer games, it can be hard to encourage children to be more active. However, exercising doesn’t need to be a chore, and there are a lot of fun exercises that your child can do around the house, in the garden or at the local park. Promoting an active lifestyle not only contributes to overall physical wellbeing, but also feeds a healthy mind.

Here are a few activities to help you get started:

Riding a bike
Learning to ride a bike can be a truly special occasion, and one that every child will remember. When you teach your child to ride a bike, you are not only equipping them with a lifelong skill, but you’re also encouraging them to get active and enjoy the outdoors. When you teach your child to ride a bike make sure it’s a dry, clear day and that you have plenty of open space away from crowds or other distractions. Make sure you build up their confidence slowly – show them how to sit on the bike, use the pedals, hold the handlebars and operate the brakes before they start cycling. Once they have this covered, they’re ready to go. Although you may need to support them at first, after a few tries they should be able to cycle on their own.

Exercises around the home
If the weather is bad or it’s very cold outside, encourage your child to exercise indoors. You can get them to build up their core strength by doing planks, sit ups, push-ups and lunges. If you have a pull up bar installed in the house, you can also get your kids to build up their strength by completing some simple exercises. Make sure that you always supervise them doing this and show them how to use the apparatus without hurting themselves. You could also set up a mini bootcamp around the house in which they have to complete a series of exercises – they’ll love the variety and game-like quality of this, and the challenge element will spur them on.

Team sports
Every child has a competitive side, and team sports are great for bringing this out. It also provides the chance for your child to interact with other children, participate in team bonding exercises and work with others to achieve a goal. There are many ways to get your child involved in team sports, including joining local teams or participating in after school clubs. This type of exercise also tends to happen on a regular schedule, usually once or twice a week, which will keep them fit, healthy and active all year round.

There are many different ways to encourage children to be more active. The= key is to always make exercise fun, whether this means more personal activities where you teach your child to ride a bike, or group activities which require them to work with others. Once they realise how good they feel after exercising, chances are all the hard work in the beginning will pay off.