How To Teach Children To Enjoy Physical Activity

terry febrey

A love for and appreciation for physical activity and fitness is best instilled in a child early on. Without it, kids are more at risk for obesity and related diseases due to lack of physical health.

Did you know that only one out of three children are active every day?

Also, kids and teenagers spend, on average, 7 hours playing video games, watching television, using a computer, and texting on phones.

While one in three children are active every day, one in three children are also considered overweight in the United States.

So, how do you instill a passion, a need, for physical activity in children?

  • Ask around: it is not a bad idea to consult your child’s pediatrician for advice for how to talk to them about the importance of physical activity, the doctor may even talk to them for you! Also, a doctor can suggest activities or sports for your child to get involved in.
  • Have fun: search for a sport or activity that your child will enjoy. Try a few out. Get the whole family involved. A fit family is more likely to stay fit than just one member alone.
  • Be age appropriate: having your 7 year old run a marathon or do weight training is unrealistic and perhaps too intense. Instead, use tools like bicycles and soccer balls and pools to make exercising fun!
  • Toys that do more: when purchasing toys and play equipment for your child, consider options that involve physical activity. Jump ropes and balls are toys that require being physical to use them.
  • Do as I do: set an example for your children by also valuing physical fitness. If they see you exercising and enjoying it, they will be more likely to do the same.
  • Limit screen time: since the average amount of time per day spend on electronics is 7 hours, a lot can be said for just turning those appliances off! Limit your kids time in front of screens and gear their attention to more active, physical past times.