Anyone who has seen children in the playground knows that they love to move and be physically active. Whilst play might seem pointless, it actually sets them up for a lifetime of being active. As we grow older, the opportunities for activity get less frequent and it can be tough ensuring older kids are getting enough exercise, especially in this digital age.
There are countless benefits to staying active for children. Exercise encourages strong bones and muscles to form, maintains a healthy weight, decreases the risk of certain diseases such as diabetes, encourages better sleep and provides a mental boost.
So, how can motivate our children to get physically active?
Choosing the right activity for the child is important. It should be fun and age-appropriate or else the child will become bored, annoyed or could suffer injury.
Lots of opportunities to get active should be provided. Access to exercise needs to be made easy for kids by providing the right equipment, taking them to classes, visiting leisure centres or playgrounds and discovering new and exciting ways to get active.
Above all else, the main focus must be about having fun in order to motivate a child. Kids simply won’t want to do something that they are not enjoying. When kids love doing an activity, they will want to do more of it. Whether it’s bike riding or swimming, they will learn skills to help them with a range of movement and give them a sense of accomplishment when their achievements are recognised.
School aged children are becoming increasingly sedentary, spending more time in front of screens than any generation before them. The key is to find an activity that brings enjoyment and a sense of success. It can be anything – gymnastics, basketball, skiing, martial arts, dance, swimming or football. For a range of fun Soccer Training Drills, visit a site like https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Soccer
As well as finding age-appropriate activities, it’s important to match up the activity with the child’s fitness personality. Many factors combine to affect a person’s personality and these personality traits, genetics and physical abilities influence how they feel towards sport and activity. This applies even more to older children and teens.
Non-athletic – these children might not have strong athletic ability, little interest in physical activity or lack confidence in their ability.
Casually athletic – these children enjoy being active but don’t shine in sport and could easily be discouraged in a competitive environment.
Athletic – these children have solid athletic ability, commit to certain sports or activities, practice a lot and thrive on competition.
Understanding these traits will help to find an activity that will motivate. The right activity in the right surroundings will help foster engagement, enthusiasm and enjoyment – all essential if you want your child to continue with be active now and later on in life.