10 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Exercise More This SpringDevan McGuinness
The cold weather is almost gone and this morning, I swear I even heard the birds singing. The winter here can feel so long and when March hits, the end of winter brings a whole new energy level to the house.
I am not a winter person and it’s not unusual for me to feel “trapped indoors” because of the cold, miserable winter weather. Activity slows down and that important Vitamin D from the sun feels almost nonexistent. When springtime hits, I like to spend as much time outdoors to make up for the lost time in the winter.
I also like to increase my activity level after the droll winter and when it comes to my kids, I want to increase the exercise time they have too. It’s not that they don’t get any, but it seems that during the spring and summer — it’s the perfect time to establish a good exercise routine for the whole family.
Check out these 10 tips for encouraging your child to exercise more this spring:
1. Make It Non-Negotiable
Be firm in making exercise an important part of this spring activities. Don’t give your child excuses to get out of it and don’t give yourself any excuses either.
2. Spend More Time Outside
The nice weather is going to hit and when it does, it will make being outdoors a lot more bearable. Take advantage of that and be outside more often. It will lead to an increase in exercise.
3. Try a New Sport
Think outside the box too. If you’re child is not into team sports like baseball or soccer, try out dance, karate or swimming. They are great sources for exercise too.
4. Go For an Evening Walk
An evening walk or play time just after dinner is a great way to burn off the dinner energy and it’s also great for bed time routine. Most everyone will be home from school/work and that time as a family is invaluable.
5. Bring a Friend Along
Most of the time, kids want to hang out with their friends — especially when the weather gets nice. Make it a fun-affair for everyone and bring one of their friends out for the fun. They’ll spend more time chasing each other and playing.
6. Don’t Force and Make it Fun
You want to make sure you don’t treat it like a chore, or you could be met with a lot of resistance. Make it fun and frame it as such — it will go a long way.
7. Establish a Routine
Build exercise into your every day routine with your kids. It gets a lot easier when the weather is more tolerable and can last all through summer and the fall.
8. Exercise Together
Kids do what kids see and when you’re out with them — moving and exercising, they’re more likely to follow along. It’s a great excuse for the whole family to be together too.
9. Limit Screen Time
Cut back on the tv time game time your child has. While they are definitely a great tool for education, they’re usually done indoors and not usually great for exercise. On a rainy day though, break out the exercise-type video games and play as a family.
10. Let Them Choose
Let your child choose what activity and exercise they want to do. Giving children a choice will help them feel part of the process and not just having to go along.