Obesity in children has become a common occurrence. At an age when the body needs to be built in a healthy way, diseases like obesity become a risk for a healthy future. As per Indian culture, till the child comes of age, practically all the decisions of their life are taken by their parents. In such a scenario, if the parents themselves do not know the importance of a healthy lifestyle, how will they encourage their children to follow it? So, before children, parents need to be educated regarding the importance of exercise for children. As these formative years are the building blocks for a healthy lifestyle, it is important to guide and motivate your child to exercise.
How Does Exercise Help Children?
Physical activity helps children sleep better and handle physical as well as emotional challenges more effectively resulting in control/check of weight, hypertension, cholesterol, sugar and also chronic diseases like cancer and anxiety. It further improves psychological well being, self-confidence and self-esteem. Training children to exercise regularly at an early age helps them grow up to be disciplined adults.
Tips To Motivate Your Child To Exercise
The most effective way to train children to exercise is by practicing what we preach and be a role model by including regular physical activity in our own lives.
- Besides arranging family picnics, hiking expeditions, morning/evening walks and other sports and games, one can also add activity by walking or riding bicycles instead of driving, using stairs instead of elevators, helping in housework and gardening.
- Another effective way to encourage children to get active is by praising them for their efforts. Instead of making them compete, they should be encouraged to cooperate with others and excel in their own records, as competition with others can lead to teasing, bullying and a sense of public failure and embarrassment. Children are more sensitive than average grownups and need all the support and encouragement to try again once they fumble or fail, which is a common phenomenon in case of children. Instead of nagging or negative comments, parents should become their cheerleaders.
- Children love the company of their friends; it is a good idea to encourage them to invite their like minded friends over for a game or an excursion. If a child likes a team sport, they should be encouraged for the same. But here too, the focus should be on fitness, fun and learning new skills and not on competition as this can remove the fun from the activity and many children get discouraged by it.
- Exercise and activity should come as a reward after a homework well done rather than as punishment by forcing a child to run laps or do pushups after a mistake or some mischief played by them as this may backfire and the child may start hating exercise and activity.
- Often children are so overburdened with homework, private tuitions, and other planned activities that they do not have time for physical activity of their own choice. So think of adding some activity of their choice as an informal fun game rather than a training session.
- A variety of games and sports equipment should be left on hand, like an assortment of balls, hula-hoops, and jump ropes, etc. this can make children enjoy the games and activities for hours.
- If a child is lazy, they should be given incentives like a favorite food or book for an hour’s activity on a regular basis as this could be a great motivating factor.
We hope the above suggestions help you motivate your child to exercise. As an incentive to exercise and to monitor their health, you can also gift them the GOQii Smart Vital Jr. which could be a huge motivational factor for your child to take their health seriously. With a personal coach and a pediatrician on board, you can rest assured that your child’s health is in safe hands!
For more tips of kid’s health and nutrition, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to sessions by experts on GOQii Play. For more effective tips on kid’s health, weight loss, home workouts, etc. speak directly to your GOQii Coach by subscribing for personalized coaching here: https://goqiiapp.page.link/bsr