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Like adults, exercise is important for keeping your child healthy and active. However, also like adults, getting kids to commit to regular exercise is difficult. The idea of working out isn’t fun and kids would much rather be playing. With that in mind, here are some tips to get kids to exercise by finding ways to make it fun and engaging.
Get Them Outdoors
Obviously, you’re not going to take your kid to a gym, so, the best environment for a child to get their fitness is simply the great outdoors. The outdoors not only gives them plenty of space to run around and burn off energy but taking advantage of public parks and playgrounds help prevent childhood obesity by providing kids with enticing equipment. Kids naturally want to climb and run around; it just needs to be put into the context of something fun and free. Fulling a routine doesn’t appeal to kids because they’re not given agency, but playgrounds provide a safe place for free play that gives your children more autonomy and fewer boundaries.
Start a Competition
Sometimes, putting your child in a playground isn’t enough. Maybe they’re not in the mood or maybe they need some more motivation. One of the best tips to get kids to exercise is to provide a fun context. For example, friendly competition is a powerful motivator no matter your age. Making exercise or physical play into a game gives kids an objective to work towards and possibly even a reward to strive for—even if it’s simply bragging rights or being recognized for excelling.
Participate With Them
It’s important to keep in mind that, above all, you are your child’s role model. They watch how you act, the things you do, and they try to mimic your behavior and habits because that’s what they believe is correct. So, if you participate alongside them or show them that you yourself enjoy exercising, that’s a good way to get kids to follow your example. If you’re resistant to exercise yourself, your kids will believe it’s something bad or to be avoided, but if you participate in the exercise, kids will believe it’s something more adult or fun that they could be missing out on.