Did you know that only around one in four children get the recommended amount of exercise per day? The pandemic has made it much harder for children to get out there and exercise, especially when lockdown dictated we all stay inside. However, exercise should be a regular part of your child’s life, and now that restrictions are beginning to ease here in the UK, here are some tips to encourage your children to be more physically active.
Lead by example
Children mimic your behaviour, so if they can see you sitting for long periods of time and rarely exercising, they will think that’s the norm! You can encourage your children to become more active by being active yourself! Take them for a run around in the park with a frisbee or basketball, or join them in the park and run around for an hour or so. They will realise that exercise is something they should regularly be doing and it will become their new normal.
Take them to a game
There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere when you’re at a live match of your favourite sports. The crowd goes wild and you have the opportunity to see your sporting heroes playing live! Consider taking your children to a live match such as The Lions tour or their favourite football team. Once they see their heroes playing in front of them it will encourage them to pursue their favourite sports again.
Gift physical activity related toys
There are many toys that will encourage activity in your children’s lives without them even realising it such as rollerblades, bicycles or even video games that encourage movement such as Wii sports. You could turn their activity into a challenge by using step counting technology to see who can take the most steps in a day to make exercise a challenge as well as lots of fun.
Set limits for screen time
Now more than ever children are addicted to their screens. Whether it’s a tablet, a television screen or their gaming consoles, children love nothing more than becoming engrossed in their games and favourite TV shows. Limiting their screen time will encourage them to take part in other activities and to play outside more often. You can encourage more outdoor play by finding clubs nearby that they could attend or inviting their friends to play in the garden with them.
Encourage after school activities
Finally, it’s very likely that your children’s school offers plenty of after school activities they could join such as basketball, football, tennis, rugby, gymnastics, and even dancing. Speak to your child’s teacher about the sports they enjoy and sports they’re excelling in so you can encourage them to join a club after school.
As you can see, there are many ways you can encourage your children to be more physically active. Sometimes the best ways of doing that is by joining in yourself! Make exercise fun rather than a chore and your children will soon love playing their favourite sports!