The behaviour that we learn as children often stays with us through adulthood, therefore by teaching our children healthy habits at a young age we can help them maintain these habits for a lifetime.
If you are concerned that your children are spending too much time in front of the TV or playing computer games then there are some small steps that can be taken to help them become more active.
Find an activity that they enjoy
Children are more likely to want to take part in some physical activity if it is something that they enjoy. Any activity that gets your children moving is going to be more beneficial than having them sitting on the couch. This can be anything from playing football in the park to more structured classes or sessions that is led by a teacher.
If your child starts to get bored with an activity that they have been doing for a while then it may be time to find something different for them to do. It may also be a good idea to try a range of different activities each time.
Make exercise into family time
If physical exercise is made into a time that the whole family does together, then this can help ensure that you will all remain motivated to continue with this activity. If you are enthusiastic about an activity then children will be able to sense this and some of your enthusiasm may rub off on them.
We all have busy lives and making time to spend together as a family is important and using this time to take part in a physical activity will benefit the whole family. You will probably find that even if your children are not too keen on the exercise at the beginning they will still jump at the chance to spend some time with you.
Give children positive feedback
All children respond well to positive feedback, and this is even more important if your child is not very confident in their abilities. Taking part in a sport can help boost a child’s confidence as well as keeping them fit, but it may take a while for this confidence to build up.
The encouragement of a parent can be a vital part of instilling a sense of confidence in a child. It is also important to praise them for the actual act of getting off the couch and exercising, especially if this is not something that they would normally do.
Get into a regular routine
If exercise becomes part of your regular routine then this can help keep your children off the couch. If children know what to expect in terms of the exercise and activities that they will be doing then they are less likely to make excuses to get out of it.
The more that children see you exercising, the more it will become something that they accept as a normal part of their daily lives. Introducing some exercise and making it part of your regular routine will benefit the whole family.
When children are brought up with exercise as part of their daily lives then they are more likely to carry on this routine into adulthood. An added bonus is that it will also give you more quality time to spend together as a family.