Kids inherently have a short attention span. The high intensity and sound-bite length format of today’s entertainment contributes to keeping their attention spans short.
Consequently, encouraging kids to follow a long-term fitness program is challenging when the only physical activity they get is advancing to the next level of a video game or sending a handful of text messages.
The overall benefit of regular fitness and exercise is likely not the most critical thing on kids’ minds these days.
Nevertheless, it’s important to not only get kids involved in a regular exercise program, but to keep them motivated to stay with it throughout their lives. Regular exercise boosts self-confidence and better prepares kids to perform well in all aspects of their lives.
Kids seem to like variety and enjoy the novelty of trying something different. This is where you can get creative in helping your kids stay motivated to exercise daily.
1. All Together Now…
One way to get kids motivated to exercise is to find fun activities to do as a family. Activities such as going on walks or bike rides, playing tag, playing basketball, kicking a soccer ball, or throwing a Frisbee at the park are ways that kids get exercise and enjoy themselves in the process.
Swimming is another popular activity for kids. They love to play in water and as long as they keep moving they’re getting a good full-body workout.
2. Use What You Got!
If you – the parent- already have exercise machines at home, such as a Bowflex home gym (read our PR3000 review here) which can work all parts of the body, consider using them with the child. Working out can help a child build confidence and improve their self image.
Remember, proper supervision is incredibly important. Never let a child use the equipment alone unless they are of proper age and properly trained.
3. Squeeze it In to Work it Off
If school is in session, time is limited due to homework, dinner, and bed time. However, it’s possible for kids to get a good 30-minute exercise session each day.
For example, you can go on a bike ride, play chase in the park, or walk the dog before settling in to do homework. If you limit their TV time, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to get daily exercise.
Regular fitness is important for the adequate development of strong bodies and motor skills. Motor skills are the foundation of every movement we make.
Nearly all of the physical skills that we possess throughout our lives are acquired during childhood and early adolescence. Many adults and seniors are sedentary and struggle with a myriad of health problems because they didn’t establish and maintain the necessary motor skills earlier in life.
Getting kids involved in an exercise program and keeping them motivated doesn’t need to be hard or unpleasant if you make it fun.
Exercise for kids doesn’t need to feel like exercise if you choose activities that are both fun and get them moving—most of the time they won’t even know that they’re getting exercise.
The most important thing is to participate in the exercise activities with your children as well as follow your own fitness program. When kids see how important regular exercise is to you, they will be more compelled to join in.
If you establish an overall enthusiasm in your family for fitness and staying healthy, you will have much more success in keeping your kids motivated to be active.