Incorporating fun ways to exercise at a young age establishes a long-term healthy lifestyle. Kids often think forced exercise is a boring chore and often resist parents who push them to participate. Parents can use a few easy tricks to get their kids to enjoy exercise.
Be a Role Model
Children look to their parents as role models. If you want your kids to enjoy frequent exercise, set a good example by enjoying it yourself. The more often your kids see you enjoying exercise, the more likely they are to want to join in. Parents who engage their kids in exercise activities like daily walks outside not only encourage a healthy lifestyle, they also get to spend valuable time bonding.
Another great trick that encourages kids to love exercising is positive reinforcement. A system of rewarding a child for healthy amounts of exercise gives the kid a reason to stick to a routine of staying active. Positive reinforcement such as monetary allowances or special activities with mom and dad are much more effective than negative consequences like loss of privileges.
Dancing around the house with your kids may sound trivial, but the total body movement involved in dancing is an effective form of exercise that children love. Put on fun and upbeat music and simply dance around when you and your kids have downtime throughout the day. Consider making up a daily family-dance that a child can be involved with and excited about. How well you or your children dance should be secondary to the healthy and fun exercise.
Go to the Park
Parks, zoos and amusements parks can take a kid’s mind off of the exercise they are getting. Schedule time to take your kids to the closest public park where they can run around, play and socialize with other children in their age group. The fun and excitement of being around friends will keep them motivated to keep moving. Zoos and amusement parks disguise exercise with compelling and sometimes educational entertainment. A child can spend hours walking and running around a zoo or amusement park without thinking twice about the exercise component.
Some parents find it difficult to motivate their kids to love healthy exercise. Daily time spent being active and in motion is the best way to convince a child to love exercise. Lead by example and provide plenty of positive reinforcement. Implementing fun ways to exercise will encourage your kids to love leading a fit and healthy lifestyle.
Author Ken is a father of two and enjoys spending his free time with his family. He is also a owner of a Houston gymnastics center for children of all ages.
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