Ask around and you’ll see plenty of parents asking each other “How do we get our kids to stay active?” in a world where schools are cutting recess and play times, more and more neighborhoods aren’t kid friendly, and electronics seem to be taking over as the preferred form of entertainment, getting kids up and moving is a serious issue.
Your clients may be asking for advice or help, and here are some tips you can give them to help their children start a healthy, happy road to fitness. You might even consider holding some family classes so the kids can come in and work out with mom or dad, or hold a kids only night where kids can get some exercise in while mom and dad go on a date!
For moms and dads asking for ideas, try these suggestions.
- Show your child how active you are. Workout at home, not just the gym, and have them join you. Lead by example, and don’t forget to provide motivation and rewards just as you do for yourself.
- If an activity seems hard for your child, scale it back a little, set a reachable goal, and provide praise and encouragement when they achieve it. Encouragement, not discouragement is the best way to teach them appreciation for exercise.
- Try to make some time to spend with your child being active – even taking a nature walk is a great plan, or you can plan a family bike ride to a favorite destination.
- Encourage your child to play outside, ensure they have a welcoming space to enjoy themselves, and give them something special to do. Provide seasonally appropriate outdoor toys like kites or hacky sacks.
- If your child expresses an interest in a sport or outdoor activity but seems nervous, offer to sign up with him or her. There are many adult and child team activities, including archery, swimming, rock climbing, and so on.
- Get the whole family out of the house by planning camping trips, hikes, and more fun outdoor trips during school breaks and vacations. Ban electronics from the road trip and encourage exploration at each stop.
- Assign chores. Kids can help mow the lawn, rake the leaves, and do other outdoor work that gets them moving and builds muscle.
Kids usually enjoy themselves once they get used to being off of the couch and in the great outdoors, these ideas are fall friendly and can help you encourage your clients to keep trying to get their kids involved in their own physical health.