It can be challenging to convince your children to do anything that’s considered to be good for them. If you give them a piece of fruit, they turn their nose up at it. If you tell them that they should read a book, they laugh at you for suggesting such a thing. One of the biggest tasks is trying to convince them to go outside and be active. If they’re super into video games or watching Netflix, you may struggle even more. Now, we do want to point out that we’re not against those things; we just know that they can keep kids from going out and getting some fresh air.
To combat this, we’ve thrown together a guide full of helpful tips and tricks to get kids to exercise. We know that not all our suggestions will work, which is why we’ve taken the time to offer you plenty of them. Hopefully, one or two of them will help you change their minds.
Set Limits on Electronics
Like we mentioned above, kids who spend a lot of time on the TV, computer, or video games usually don’t want to do things outside. If you set limits on how often they can use these things each day, they will have more time to branch out and try new things. Granted, this doesn’t mean they will willingly go outside and start running around with the neighbors, but that’s what the rest of these tips are based around. This one simply focuses on limiting what they can do inside.
Buy Them Gifts That Encourage Exercise
If a kid doesn’t have anything that promotes physical activity, they won’t want to pursue it. That’s why you need to get things that make exercise fun, such as bikes, scooters, sports equipment, and other backyard toys. Even if they’re not crazy about the idea of going outdoors, they will be more inclined to if they can play with a new toy.
If they’re old enough to start doing some beginner workouts, encourage them to do so if they seem interested in the idea. Show them how to properly do a pushup or mark out some locations that they can go to if they want to try running. If they seem to like doing these things, you could even get them a smartwatch that monitors their physical activity. We have a variety of them available on our website. Along with monitoring exercises, a kids’ texting watch also offers phone calling and tracking so that you can keep an eye on them as they work out.
Set Up an Outdoor Playdate
Regardless of which toys or equipment you buy for them, children will only want to go outside if they can play with someone. That’s why it’s a good idea to set up playdates with the other children’s parents who live in the neighborhood. Setting up a pool party or a session at the local playground can help get your kids outside and active. Plus, you’re helping all of the neighbors do the same with their kids, which they’ll greatly appreciate.
Sign Them Up for Sports
If you’ve noticed a competitive side to your child, now might be the perfect time to sign them up for sports. Ask them which ones they have an interest in and see what is available in the area. If they are unsure or don’t have a competitive edge, you can sign them up for something more accessible and relaxing, such as swimming. As a bonus, your child will learn an important life skill.
If they like the sport you put them in or turn out to be good at it, then you have effectively set them up to continue being active as they get older since they will most likely pursue it once they get to high school and eventually college.
Be a Role Model
It’s crazy how much kids pick up from their parents. That’s why people who don’t live active lifestyles have more trouble convincing their kids to do so. They don’t understand why they have to go out and run around if you’re just going to sit inside and watch TV. Kids don’t see that as fair.
That’s the reason why you should participate with your kids whenever you can. Go outside and throw a football around together. Play a game of tag around the yard. Whatever your kids want to do, you need to be right there next to them, playing along and having fun. Doing this will help you teach them how to do these things more effectively, as well as making sure that no one gets hurt.
If you want to take it a step further, keep doing physical activities even when they’re not doing them with you. If they see you go for a run every day, they will think of that as a normal activity and desire to do the same when they get older. The same goes for going to the gym and eating a healthier diet. Your kids will be more likely to do these things if they’re following in your footsteps.
Plan a Vacation
Another helpful tip to get kids to exercise is to set up an outdoor family vacation. Whether you go camping or stay in a five-star hotel room, going on a trip with the focus of doing activities outdoors will help show your kids all the wonderful things you can do out there. You can go on a hike through a national park or go skiing down some Colorado mountains. It doesn’t matter what you do; we only recommend that you find activities that the whole family can enjoy.
Talk to Their Doctor
If you are unsure if certain activities are suitable for your kid at their current age, don’t be afraid to ask their pediatrician at their next check-up. They will let you know if your kid is too young and give you suggestions if they know of better activities.
You can also ask for their professional opinion on why exercise your kids must exercise, and they will have some great insight. Plus, you will have some ammunition to throw back at your kids when they try to argue on whether they need to go outside.