Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as an adult is challenging, particularly if you have a busy work or social schedule that takes up the majority of your time. However, staying healthy becomes much easier if you create habits around the topic and similarly, creating habits in children is much easier than as an adult.
This is part of why encouraging healthy activities and positive behaviors in children is so important. By introducing young people to exercise and healthy lifestyle choices, we are creating an association that will follow them into adulthood, making the maintenance of that health even easier.
To help you encourage children to get involved in physical activity, we have put together some top tips worth employing. It’s important to note though, not all children are the same. We are all individuals, meaning that whilst these tips usually work, each child will respond to different stimulus. That being said, here are some great starting points.
There’s a reason why young people love to play games. Games are engaging, intellectually challenging and offer a range of different experiences. They are a new way to experience hypothetical situations and test your skills, piquing the curiosity of young minds and grabbing their attention.
Leveraging the power of games is a great way to encourage specific behaviors or activities within children. Instead of just going for a walk or running around a track, try turning the activity into some kind of competition. Giving children an attainable goal or something that they can try to defeat or win against is great at motivating, engaging and ensuring that they will give things a chance.
If in down, consider researching some physical sports games that you can try out. Build from the styles of activities that your child is reacting well to, then iterate and change that game to make it even more valuable.
Add a Social Aspect
It cannot be emphasized how important socializing is for child development and positive association. Children are significantly more likely to try and enjoy new activities if their friends, or others their age, are involved. This theory is also implemented in school playgrounds, where playground equipment manufacturers like Kompan are leveraging their research to incorporate socialization opportunities into their designs.
Humans are naturally sociable beings and for most, exploring new experiences and learning new things is only amplified by the presence of others. Plus, particularly for children, practice socializing and interacting with others serves as an invaluable development opportunity. Consider sports teams, clubs and other groups to try and involve your child in group physical exercise.
Above all else, this is the most important point to be made. Adapting to your child’s personal preferences and gaols is key to ensuring that they enjoy and create a positive relationship with healthy activities. Forcing what you think is best for them and making your child do certain activities will have the opposite effect. Instead of enjoying what they are doing, they will enter the activity with a negative mindset and all potential enjoyment will be removed.
Always consult your child before and after their first time trying a new game or sport and see what they thought of it. Use this information to try as much as possible and find the specific games they enjoy. Then focus on these games and activities to build that positive relationship with exercise. This is the best way to truly leave a mark that will translate into a healthier adult lifestyle.
With these, tips you should find it much easier to not just encourage young people to get involved in physical activity, but ensure they enjoy it to. Again, always consult children on what they want to do before acting as this is always the best way to ensure good results.