Getting Off The Couch: How to Motivate Kids to Be Active

The problem of “couch potatoes” has been long present and every following generation of children seems to take less interest in sports and exercise. Endless hours of sitting in front of TV and computer have led to an increased number of overweight and obese children in the world. Parents and schools need to set a good example and motivate their children to become more physically active. Here are some ideas on how to make your children more enthusiastic about sports.

Benefits of an Active Life

The task of parents and teachers is to explain children the benefits of being active. Realizing the positive sides of exercising may prompt enthusiasm about sports in children. Regular physical activity improves the state of the body as well as the mind. It prevents excessive weight and reduces the risk of some major health issues including heart diseases and diabetes. Regular exercising also has a positive influence on children’s mental abilities. Doing sports contributes to the development of motor skills. Additionally, physical activity helps children become more confident and feel better about themselves. Enrolling in team sports develops children’s ability to work and function in a team, thus further strengthening their intrapersonal skills. Most importantly, children who become active in their early age are more likely to continue doing sports when they grow up.

Fun and Play Rather than Exercise

It’s important to incorporate physical activity into children’s daily routines so that it becomes a regular part of their lives. You can accomplish this by enrolling them in school teams or simply by introducing play time during breaks between the lessons. Children could also use their free time at home to get active through play. Everything’s more fun when it’s done in two, so let your children invite their friends to take part in the activities. Disguise activities into play so that they don’t seem like they are exercising. Giving these activities meaning and purpose will make children more willing to participate in them. Turn activities into fun tasks they need to solve, like Balance the Bagel, for example.

How to Motivate Kids to Be Active

Turn to Kindergartens for Help

The types of activities vary depending on children’s age. For preschoolers, kindergartens are an abundant resource of guidance and help. A lot of early learning centers will provide children with plenty of opportunities to practice sports while having fun. Kindergartens are excellent for teaching children the basics of sports, which they can easily build on later in life. Participating in all sorts of kindergarten activities minimizes the time children spend sitting at home and keeps them on the move. It also gives them an opportunity to socialize and learn to be a part of a team.

School-age Kids and Teens

With older children, it’s best to let them decide what sort of physical activity suits them most. They can explore all options and choose the one they like best, whether it’s a school sport or some individual activity. Teens also have an array of choices, but they also have a lot more obligations, so it can be difficult to incorporate sports into their daily routines. Parents should assist their teenage kids in managing physical activities and tasks. For example, if your child goes to the gym, ensure they stay motivated by giving them the necessary equipment or proper clothes for exercising.

Set a Good Example

If you want to make your kids interested in sports, you need to show enthusiasm first. Be sure to lead a healthy lifestyle and stay in good shape. You can also turn exercising into quality family time and go skating, hiking or biking together.

All parents want their children to lead healthy lives. Introducing physical activity while they’re young enables children to grow up into active adults who realize its benefits.

About the author:

Tracey Clayton is a full-time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. She’s also passionate about traveling, fashion and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

How to Motivate Kids to Be Active

How do you motivate your kids to get off the couch and be active?