Doctors recommend that children should be getting 60 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. With so many screen distractions these days, it can be hard to get children motivated to move. We’ve come up with ten great ways to get your kids moving!
1. Limit Screen Time
Maybe one of the most difficult first steps – turn off the tv. Limiting screen time allows your child to experience new things! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only one hour of screen time for ages 2-6, and for those 6 and up should be at the parents discretion.
2. Sign Up for a Sport
Sign up for an after school sport. This is one of the easiest ways to get a child moving. Find a sport they enjoy and get them involved. For kids who are between preschool and fifth grade age, the TOT program is a great option as it consists of weekly classes that are energy packed to get those bodies moving and brains growing!
3. Try Other Activities
On the flip side, your child may not love sports. And if not – there’s still plenty of activities that can get them moving. Try out other activities such as roller blading, dancing, martial arts and more!
4. Visit Local Parks
We understand that sometimes these activities, whether it’s football or martial arts, can get expensive! But, that doesn’t mean your children have to sit in front of their screens all day. Get outside and visit parks and playgrounds. Most cities have plenty of local parks and are a short drive to a National Park.
5. Set an Example Worth Following
Lead by example. Check your own activity level. If your children see you on your phone all day or sitting in front of the tv being sedentary, they are less likely to turn their own screens off.
6. Use Physical Activity as a Reward
Use physical activity as a reward. While we understand it may sound like you’re manipulating your children, hear us out. Give your children a 20 minute break to play outside in between homework or allow them a chance to play at the playground in between a day of running errands. Whatever you do, never use physical activity as a negative, such as running laps as a punishment.
7. Keep a Regular Routine
Keep a regular routine. As with almost anything a routine can manage not only chaos, but expectations. If your physical activity is consistently incorporated into your weekly routines, it is less likely to be broken or left out. So now, everyone knows that Tuesday evening is karate or Sunday afternoon is a bike ride at the park.
8. Get Involved as a Family
Make it a family affair. Whether it’s going on a hike or cutting on the radio and dancing around, get involved and make it fun! If everyone is being active together and having fun it’s a lot easier to forget that you’re actually exercising.
9. Invite Friends Along
Another great partner – friends! Bring friends along to experience activities together! Kids love spending time together and having a common interest. Instead of that interest being video games let them enjoy a bike ride together or a playdate at the park.
10. Start Slow
Introduce physical activity in increments. If your child can’t seem to find an activity they enjoy or they just don’t really care for physical activity in the least, introduce movement in increments. You can start it at 10 minutes playing outdoors and increase the time the more comfortable they get.
Of course, these aren’t the only ways to get your children up and moving, but a few ideas! The sky’s the limit when it comes to getting moving – so make it fun!