How to Motivate your Kids to be Active

motivating kids to be active while they're young

With a society that’s more technology-driven than ever, it’s important to keep your kids active and moving. Instead of letting your kids veg out in front of the television or computer – even if they’re doing something educational – make it a point to engage them in at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Some of this activity happens in gym and at recess at school, but you can keep it going at home.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, only one in three children are physically active every day and of the time spent in gym class, games, and sports practice, less than 50 percent of the time is active enough to be considered physical activity. Time to get those kids moving, and here’s how:

  • Make it fun! Create silly games where your kids are hopping, jumping, or running around. Play tag or shoot hoops at the park. Have a variety of toys available that encourage them to be active such as balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, or bikes. You don’t want to make it seem like being active is a chore, but rather just a fun part of each day.
  • Involve the whole family. Go for walks or bike rides together, kick around a soccer ball, wash the car, or play miniature golf. Get everyone involved and be positive role models as parents showing your kids that you like to be active too. You can even teach them games you loved when you were growing up.
  • Try different activities. Maybe your child isn’t the star basketball player, but perhaps they prefer dance, swimming, or martial arts instead. Let them explore a wide range of activities to see what interests them and what they enjoy. Even if they’re not great at something doesn’t mean they can’t still practice and have fun while they’re at it.
  • Limit screen time. When sitting in front of the computer or television isn’t an option, your kids will find ways to use their imagination and be more active. Set time limits as to how much screen time they get – and you get – so that going outside, bike riding, or visiting the playground becomes more commonplace.
  • Partner up. Encourage your child’s school and your community to make physical activity a priority. Programs like the NFL PLAY 60 campaign teach children about staying active and make it fun to do so. NFL players frequently visit their local communities and play games and host events. Your family can partake on your own as well and challenge yourselves to be active at least 60 minutes each day.

You know your kids better than anyone, so appeal to what interests them and what is available in your local community as far as playgrounds, recreational activities, or sports teams. Start while they’re young to set them up for a healthier, more active future.

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