The human body is truly a modern marvel. Especially when you think of the extensive network of muscles, nerves, tissues, and organs, which must work together in unison to carry you through every day, then in keeping your body operating at an optimum level, it’s critical to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Consuming a healthy diet and participating in an exercise routine are two of the more essential components of maintaining a well-conditioned body. Food is a necessary ingredient in this process as your body could not function without it. In regards to exercise, although your body can operate without it, you would be missing out on the fantastic benefits associated with an active lifestyle.
The remarkable aspect in regards to physical activity is it’s not only great for adults, but children can benefit tremendously from incorporating an exercise routine. Engaging in exercise at an early age can create a strong foundation for living a healthy lifestyle, and these benefits can carry through into adulthood. There is a multitude of positive effects associated with children who exercise regularly.
Some of the benefits include:
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Improved flexibility, balance, and coordination
- Reduced risk of obesity
- Increased self-confidence
- Reduced risk of certain chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease)
- Greater sense of well-being
- Improved sleeping habits
- Decreased stress levels
- Improved overall mood
- Improved mental capacity
These benefits are without a doubt what every parent would want for their children. The challenge is developing an exercise routine for their kids, which is convenient, enjoyable, and provides enough incentive for their children to continue with the process on a routine basis. The added difficulty in making exercise a priority for your child is competing with the massive amount of technology that takes up a good portion of their attention. So many kids nowadays are glued to phones, TVs, or video games, and the thought of lifting anything other than their fingers to text, change a channel, or start the next round, is hard to comprehend. With that, parents need to be creative and develop some fun and inventive ways to get their young ones motivated to start an exercise routine. Here are a few suggestions for making exercise a priority for your children.
Limit Technology Time
Parents need to carve out an open window of time for their kids to participate in the exercise. Limiting technology time would be the logical place to start since this takes up a good chunk of most children’s activity. Of course, just because this is the most logical place to start doesn’t mean it will be easy trying to pry your child away from the grips of technology. But it will be worth it to replace that screen time with some hours of physical activity.
Engage in Sports
There usually are options to sign up for various sporting programs between school or within your community, whether it’s with a team or a solo event. This can include basketball, baseball, track, field hockey, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, or martial arts, to name a few. Of course, this is a shortlist of options, but it’s a good chance your child will find a sporting program they enjoy. Participating in something they want is half the battle of keeping them motivated to continue with the activity.
Visit a Playground or Park
Take advantage of the playgrounds or parks in your local area. Exercising at the park for your kids can be as simple as climbing, sliding, or swinging on playground equipment. Parents can also join in and play catch with a ball, throw frisbees, or fly a kite. The most important thing is having the space available to let your imagination run wild and participate in any physical activity that your child will enjoy.
Choose a lovely weekend to ride bikes around the neighborhood or go for a hike if any trails are available in your area. If this doesn’t interest your child, try visiting a rock climbing gym, playing miniature golf, or bowling. The goal is to get out of the house, weather permitting, and participate in some form of exercise.
A simple walk around the neighborhood is an excellent way to stretch those legs and get the blood flowing. Many people underestimate the benefits of walking, but it’s a perfect way to stay active, especially if you or your child cannot participate in any more intense activity.
If the weather is not great or there is no time to go out, consider some indoor activities. Turn up the music, clear some space, and enjoy a dance session with your kids. Or you can play video games that incorporate physical activity. You can also have a fitness competition to see who can do the most jumping jacks, push-ups, or whatever other fitness activity your child enjoys. Kids love competition, especially when it comes to competing against their parents.
Shower Them With Rewards
There is nothing more exciting to a child than getting rewarded for a job well done. So set up various exercise goals during the week. Then, if achieved successfully, you can reward your child monetarily, or treat them to their favorite food, or give them a well-deserved and affectionate hug if that’s what you’re child truly adores.
Depending on your child’s preferences, there are other options to make exercising fun and exciting. The bottom line is to get your child in motion regularly. This will not only benefit your kid’s overall well-being, but it’s reassuring to any parent knowing their child is participating in something that can carry over into adulthood and lead to a healthier and more rewarding lifestyle.