Finding ways to make exercise inviting for your children can be challenging, especially if you have to pull them off of a gaming system to do it. Considering what an important role fitness will play in the rest of their lives though, you have to find a way. The following article will offer a few ideas about getting your children interested in physical activity, no matter how much they love their games.
1. Set the example. Children usually follow parents as role models, and if yours see you enjoying exercise and all its benefits, they will be more inclined to take part themselves. Show them how cool it is to work out with friends, be stronger and look amazing. Tempt them away from the gaming console with a gym membership, great exercise apparel and/or their own in-home exercise machine.
2. Set a downtime for all televisions, computers and gaming systems. Designate a certain time of day, at least every other day, when no screen is allowed to be watched for an hour or so. This includes all handheld models as well. At first, your children may sit and stare at the walls, totally lost without their game on. However, if you adhere to this rule and encourage healthy play during the times games are powered down, they will adapt to an active alternative eventually.
3. Try fitness games. Buy your kids games that are specifically designed to encourage vigorous physical activity. Although from a statistical standpoint, such games are not as effective as the actual exercising out of the living room, they are certainly better than no physical activity at all and can be a great means of practicing and getting better at certain sports that may carry over into the real things.
4. Work the kids into a consistent routine. Your children will become accustomed to a schedule of games-off, exercise-on if you keep at it. Incorporating fun physical activity on a regular basis will eventually set in, and you might even see them initiating outdoor time and play on their own. Clearly identify when fitness times are, make sure everyone take parts (including you) and make a point of adhering to this schedule.
5. Don’t be a drill sergeant; make it fun! Forcing kids into rigorous, army-style workouts will have them dreading the sessions and running for cover. Discover what their favorite sports and games to play in person are, and just kick it in the backyard. Anything that exerts energy, encourages fitness and is enjoyable to them will do. They will only dread the drill sergeant routine and you for forcing them into it.
6. Let them run the fitness program, once it has taken hold. No matter what your children’s ages, give them the whistle and let them plan the activities everyone will take part in. Let them chose a new and fun location, such as volley ball on the beach or biking in the park. Incorporating their creativity will cement the process in their minds and keep them interested in the physical fitness process for years to come.
Sitting in front of a gaming console all day long is really no way for children to begin life. Fresh air and exercise are as necessary for healthy kids as fruits and vegetables, especially if they develop life-long habits out of them! Find a way to motivate your children away from videos and into an active lifestyle, for their well-being and your own peace of mind.