The habits that we help set for our children in early life are the habits that are easiest for them to revert to. If your child isn’t happily active now, then they may have trouble getting active later in life when they really want to. But encouraging your kids to exercise isn’t the most compelling argument. Here, let’s look at some ways to trick them into it instead.
Give them gifts that get them moving
What if you can get your kid into getting active but make it seem like you’re doing them a favour? Okay, so it’s not quite that diabolical, but giving gifts that encourage active play can be very effective. Some toys and gifts that require a little physical activity to use can include bikes, jump ropes, or gift cards to places like trampoline parks. Not only will they not feel like they’re being compelled to be more active, they’ll be pumped to try their new gift.
Most children have a natural curiosity for the world that needs to be sated. Take the time to get out there together as a family and find somewhere to go exploring together. A camping trip, a hike through the country, or a family bike ride around and out of the town will not only help them get fit, but it will improve your connection as a family and with nature.
Hit the water
Swimming is a great all-round exercise and one that’s innately fun. Even if there’s a little trepidation to begin with, most kids are going to be excited to get in that pool as soon as they have the opportunity, so look for a swim school near you. Swimming doesn’t feel as taxing as many other exercises due to the floating sensation, but the truth is that it’s an excellent cardio exercise and works out multiple muscle groups in a safe and controlled way.
Make it a game
Video games have gone a long way beyond simply sitting down and pressing buttons on a controller. There are many that involve that, yes, but there are also active games like Just Dance which can be excellent for encouraging kids, especially music lovers, to get up and show off some moves. For older children, Ring Fit Adventure on the Nintendo Switch can be a real introduction to exercise, as well.
Make an obstacle course with them
Head out to the garden or the park with a bunch of items that you can make into an obstacle course, from cones to zig-zag between to hula hoops you have to hop from and to. Creating the course is going to engage your child’s creativity and they will help come up with all kinds of challenges. Once it’s all together, you might even have trouble keeping up with your active child.
Of course, there is no real “trick” in any of the tips above. The fact is that exercise can be fun and all you need to do is help your children see how.