Thursday 2 February 2023

5 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Be Physically Active

**Collaborative Post**

AD: Physical activity is important at all stages of life - as a baby, toddler, a growing child and then when they're an adult. It helps in the development of their muscle tissue and staying fit and healthy. As your child gets older, getting them to exercise may become a challenge. For a lot of parents, it's the struggle of getting them outdoors as once outside children often actually quite enjoy the activities. However, research shows that children are spending less time outdoors, and more time on their devices. It is estimated that they spend only a mere 40 minutes outside, whilst spending more than four-and-a-half hours on an electrical device. When it comes to children, physical exercise should be fun, it should be something they want to do so if your child is struggling with that, here are some fun ways you could try to sneak in a little more exercise and outdoor time with your child. 

If you can relate and want to learn about encouraging your child to be more physically active, take a look at the tips we’ve shared below from a prep school in Surrey.

School Sports Clubs

Physical activity is often a big part of a school curriculum and within this they will also want to encourage children to take part in these activities outside of school too. Many schools will have a variety of teams and clubs your child could join including things like football, rugby, gymnastics and others sports too. The great thing about them being run by the school is that children can take part in a familiar environment and often with familiar children too as they will be people your child already attends school with and is perhaps friends with, this always makes joining a new club or activity less daunting from my experience. 

School clubs also aren't always as "serious" as some out-of-school clubs as their main focus is on learning new skills and keeping active over winning medals and awards etc. This makes them perfect for kids who are just starting out too or just want to join for fun and exercise. 

Get Involved

Just like with most things in life, as your child grows up they look to you for guidance, the same can be said for sport and physical activity too. As their parent, your child looks up to you so you will need to be mindful of the message that you’re sending out. If you’re putting strict orders on screen time and pushing them to exercise whilst evidently not following the same rules, it may affect how seriously they take you. Also putting an emphasis on physical exercise being about losing weight etc can be extremely damaging to a child or teen of any age so please try not to do this. Look at ways that you can also be getting involved and spend time playing outdoor sports perhaps after a few goes you could even ask your child to show you the ropes so they feel like they are helping you too.  encourage your child to get onboard and follow suit.

Walk or Ride to School

There are many ways that we can incorporate exercise into our daily routines, like the walk to school for example. By leaving your car parked up, you can save on fuel and ensure that you all get your steps in. If you’re short on time in the mornings, however, you may choose to do this on the way home from school. Or if you don't fancy doing the whole journey, park a little further away and walk, not only will you avoid the car park traffic commotion, but you can get in some exercise too. 

Find Family Hobbies or Activities 

If your child is too tired for an after-school club or perhaps they clash with work etc, then why not consider an out-of-school hobby. There are so many clubs around for sports such as football, hockey, rugby, basketball even things like badminton and tennis or swimming. These can usually be found either through your local leisure centre or through independently run clubs, your local school may even be able to help you find these clubs even though they are not connected with the school. 

These clubs are another great way to fit in physical exercise without even knowing it because the kids have so much fun doing it, plus there are lots of other benefits too including the mental and social aspects of being part of a club or team. If you really wanted to lead by example though why not find a hobby the whole family can take part in, perhaps a weekend tennis doubles match or a spot or hiking or geocaching? All things can be done together in your own time.  

How do you help your family ensure they are getting enough physical exercise and what are your favourite ways to exercise? Let me know in the comments below. 


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