Over the last few decades, research has continued to prove the importance of daily physical activity for children. Not only do kids need to be active throughout the day, but they also need a large amount of regular physical activity to support cardiovascular health, bone strength, and mental health. The benefits of exercise are endless. Exercise reduces the risk of depression, behavioral health disorders, disease, and injury. Without a role model for fitness, it is hard for kids to recognize the benefits of integrating wellness into their daily routine. Children should not only learn how to play sports, they should learn how to move their bodies in a way that improves their functionality in their day to day life.
Parents play a critical role in teaching their children the importance of daily physical activity. Parents don’t need to force their children to go play outside, they need to instill the value of exercise into the minds of their children. Children should be educated on the physical and mental benefits of fitness. In this article, we will discuss a few simple ways that parents can help children understand the value of physical activity.
When you are working to teach your kids the importance of exercise, try engaging in movement with them. Whether you are going on a walk as a family or playing a game of kickball, kids will benefit from seeing their parents engage in exercise. There are many ways that you can be active with your children. Some fun ways to engage your children in activity include:
- Playing a sport
- Doing yoga
Not only do these activities provide a chance to be active, but they also allow you to spend quality time with your child. There are both indoor and outdoor activities that promote fitness and activity.
Invite Your Kids Into Your Routine
If your kids are interested in your personal exercise routine, let them take part in it. Whether you are working out at your home gym or going for a run, ask your kids if they would like to join you for part of your workout. Your child will probably not be able to lift up weights or run four miles, but they can practice the movements alongside you. When kids exercise with you, they have the opportunity to learn the basic aspects of functional fitness. In addition to learning fitness routines, children will benefit when they witness the value you place on making exercise a part of your regular routine.
Not only should you engage in physical activity alongside your children, but you should also educate them on the science behind exercise! Teach them what part of their body that they are moving. Inform them about the ways that movement can benefit their overall health and longevity. Kids are much more likely to value exercise when they understand the importance of the practice.
Find Something That Your Kids Can Enjoy
If you want your kids to experience the benefits of exercising on a regular basis, it is important that you help them find an activity that they enjoy! It is okay if your child does not like going on walks or riding their bikes. Your child may enjoy playing baseball or dancing around the living room. Your child is more likely to participate in physical activities that they enjoy. Once you identify the movement they enjoy, schedule an activity time that works for the family schedule. By identifying a concise stop and start time, kids are more likely to put effort into their movement.
When your children see the value you place on physical activity, they are more likely to understand the value of fitness and exercise. Kids learn by example; therefore, it is critical that parents display a positive relationship with exercise for their children to learn from. By moving daily with your children and allowing them to exercise alongside you, they will begin learning the inherent value of fitness. Fitness is beneficial for mental health, bone strength, and improved immunity.