Parenting 101: Injecting Physical Activity Into Family Fun

Source – Pixabay CC0 License

There’s no escaping the fact that childhood obesity is one of the biggest problems in modern society. Moreover, the threats have become even greater thanks to the fallout of the pandemic. As such, all parents should show an eagerness to promote active lifestyles for all the family.

Forcing the kids to stay active is unlikely to yield positive results. Instead, you must learn to focus on making it enjoyable. Once you do, the chances of sustaining the positive outcome are greatly increased. Incorporate some of the tips below and your family will be healthier and happier in no time.

#1. Embrace Interactive Video Games

While many parents think video games are the enemy, they can be an ally. The key is to find a way to make the experience work for your family’s goals. When increased fitness is the aim, interactive games are the answer.

For teenagers, the use of VR gaming can work wonders. When you have younger kids, the Nintendo Switch is ideal. There are plenty of games that use the controllers as bats, rackets, and other accessories. Alternatively, the Ring Fit Adventure will promote fitness for all the family. It’s especially accessible for adults who aren’t usually fond of games.

If your kids are going to play computer games, you can at least make it productive. This step will be telling once the colder months arrive.

#2. Utilize Your Backyard

If you are blessed with a back garden, it is the best place to encourage an active lifestyle. Moreover, you do not have to rely on the luxury additions like swimming pools and tennis courts to achieve the desired results.

Cheap sporting activities like soccer goals and basketball hoops are great additions. Kids can enjoy them alone or with siblings and parents. Meanwhile, themed regulation cornhole boards are great fun for all the family. Even grandparents can enjoy them while kids develop their coordination skills as well as enjoy a little cardio.

Jungle gyms are a good option for young kids too. Ultimately, when you spend more time outside, your family will burn more calories while actually having fun.

#3. Arrange Active Days Out

After spending such a long time in lockdown, everyone wants to make up for lost time. Rather than hitting the cinema, though, you should focus on more active days out. Being outdoors will reduce the risk of illness too.

Establishing a strong work-life balance will be crucial if you want to spend more time actively with the kids. Meanwhile, investing in bicycles, skates, or walking boots will open the door to a wealth of new adventures. Whether it’s exploring the local area or venturing to another town or city is up to you. It promotes an active lifestyle and helps create new memories.

On a similar note, when arranging a small vacation, you might want to think about camping. Right now, it could be far more enjoyable than international travel.

Source – Pixabay CC0 License

#4. Sign Your Child Up For Little League

Parents don’t have to exercise to be involved in their child’s activity. Little League is a great example. Signing your son or daughter up for the local team will encourage them to get regular fitness while you can spectate and support the team.

Little League isn’t the only option. Dance classes, acting schools, and any other social activity that includes a little exercise should serve them well. As well as the physical exercise elements, it is a great opportunity for kids to develop social skills. Given the limited face-to-face interactions experienced since the pandemic, this is very rewarding.

Besides, when your child becomes passionate about their activity, they will practice at home. Once again, this is a great way to promote balance in their life. 

#5. Use Household Chores To Your Advantage

Physical activity doesn’t have to come in the form of sports. While you don’t need to sign your child up for a step counter, the basic idea of getting more steps in is the key to success. Household chores are a good way to make it happen.

Setting age-specific chores can be great for building discipline and helping kids earn their pocket money. Sweeping or mowing the grass will up the step counts and keep your child active without pushing them too hard. Alternatively, you could involve them in DIY projects. Lifting and carrying items with you can only have a positive influence.

Better still, you can work on a project where the outcome is something that encourages further physical activity.

#6. Be Active On Their Terms

The main challenge revolves around getting kids to want an active lifestyle. As a parent, you need to accept that promoting physical and mental wellbeing means very little to kids. Even if they will certainly see the benefits when enjoying lots of exercise.

Therefore, you must try to find ways of encouraging engagement. This could mean buying a GoPro camera so that they can record their bike rides or sporting activities. It allows your child to celebrate their love of creating content for social media without losing their interest in exercise. As they set out to create more videos, they will need to stay active.

Meanwhile, if your child shows an interest in any fitness-based hobby, you should do all that you can to encourage it. Whether they want you actively involved or not.

#7. Praise Them 

Perhaps the easiest way to get a child to stay active is to reward their good habits. This is especially useful for young children but can work for teens too. Humans respond well to conditioning. If they link fitness to positive outcomes, the actions will be repeated.

Rewards do not have to manifest as fights or financial benefits. Celebrating your child’s physical excellence or showing an enthusiasm for their actions will work wonders. However, you will need to retain a level of consistency when taking this approach. Confusion or ambiguity could undo the good work elsewhere.

While it’s important to use the above steps to ensure they enjoy the process of staying fit, praise will add something special. Embrace it today, and you will see changes in no time.


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