Making children do their physical exercises regularly can be an uphill task for many parents. There may be a lack of motivation on children’s part so the onus is, of course, on you to make them leave their favourite spot in front of a TV set and get involved in some physical activities. Here are five simple steps to motivating your child to exercise:
Pay heed to what your child wants: Not all children love sports. So don’t push your child for any sporting activity that he or she might not like. Instead, find out if there’s any kind of physical activity that your child has developed a special liking for. It can be any dance form or just bicycle riding. The chief objective is to make exercise a fun activity for your child.
Choose places which combine exercise with learning: There are several new-age fitness studios for kids in metros these days. Pick one which combines fitness exercises with learning. This will help you save time and children can enjoy both learning and exercise. “Action-based learning system is a trend now in the West. It’s said that kids are kinesthetic learners – they learn better when they move,” says Hena Nafis, a nutritionist who also runs Nutrience Kids Fitness Studio, Kolkata. “In such a new-age fitness studio, there will be modern learning-enabling equipment—for instance, children can bring their study material and keep them on such machines and learn when they exercise.”
Cut down on screen time: These days, children are usually overburdened with homework, projects and various school activities. But you must make a schedule for them where physical activities are accommodated. To do so, you can calculate how much time they might be spending watching TV, playing games or surfing the internet. Accordingly, you can cut down on screen time and make room for exercises.
Get involved and be a role model: Children will love it if you exercise with them too. Be proactive and make strict fitness routines for yourself so that you can be a role model.
Don’t go overboard: Make sure that you are fully aware of your child’s fitness or development needs. Don’t push for physical activities he or she might not be able to take part in. Exercise and physical activity should not be taxing for them. Go slow.