BY Ritu Shah
12 Jan 2023
You will see most of the young kids jumping and running around. They are naturally active little humans. But as they get older they might be less interested in moving around and doing physical activities. There can be many reason including some of these-
- Hectic school routine
- Busy families, working parents, and no supervision
- Natural dislike towards structured sports
- A competitive sporting scene at school
- Feeling of inferiority in terms of skill in a particular sport
There are immense benefits of being physically active for a kid. Playing, exercising and moving around build strong muscles and bones, help maintain a healthy weight, promote better sleep, remove mental stress and create a positive outlook in life.
Even if your kid is not a natural athlete, you can motivate them to be active. Here are 10 ways you can inculcate an active lifestyle in your kid.
Choose the Right Activity
Kids are still developing. Therefore, age and ability matter when choosing the right physical activity. Games that need a lot of mental skill and organisation might not be suitable for little ones. Instead kicking the ball might be more up their alley.
Look at Alternative Sports
If your kid does not like regular sports like football, athletics, or basketball look for other alternatives. Skating, martial arts, swimming, rock climbing, fencing, dancing, gymnastics and horse riding are some activities that will keep them active while also needing daily practice.
Make Playing A Fun Time
Kids who inherently do not like organised games and sports shy away because they feel burdened with the routine and practice. Instead of pushing them towards something they don’t like, explore some fun physical activities with them. If they are into other forms of exercise like dancing or playing with neighbourhood kids, encourage it and let them have a dedicated playtime daily.
Provide Active Toys & Sporting Equipment
Introduce active toys like balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, scooters and cycles to your kids at the right age. This will encourage them to pick up an available toy and spend time in a game that needs physical movement. Provide the right clothes and equipment if they choose to explore any sport.
Make Time to Play With Your Kids
Kids tend to emulate the lifestyle they see at home. Take them out to play with you and help them cultivate an interest in new games. You can also take them on regular hikes, walk, or bike rides.
Give Secure Environment
Ensure that the area, people, and gear they are playing with are safe and secure. If they play at school or an academy, keep an open conversation about what happens there. Keep a regular check on whether your child is facing any issues. Also, make sure that they wear appropriate and comfortable clothes.
Do Not Pressurise or Overdo
Kids also need time to relax. Physical activities should not hurt or make them lethargic. Stamina builds over time. It is important that you do not pressurise or make them overdo it.
Set a Limit on Screen Time
Screen time includes time spent on video games, TV, Youtube videos, computers and social media. Limit their screen time daily. This will free some time for outdoor games and activities.
Keep them Challenged
Kids respond to challenges since they love to prove that they can achieve great things. Keeping them challenged in a healthy way is an excellent idea to motivate them. Be it mastering an exercise, yoga pose, running, or completing a physical task, you can introduce excitement in being physically active and fit.
Make Them Follow a Schedule
You must have a daily schedule for your kids. It should include their school, study and homework, meals, play, relaxation, and sleep time. Consistency and routine imbibe good habits and values and ensure good health. A dedicated time slot for playing (structured or unstructured) will make them physically active and fit.
There are many ways to keep your child moving, active and fit. They will also learn many social and life skills by exploring games and various activities. An active habit is necessary for not only physical health but also mental health. If your kid lacks a natural affinity for sports and athletics, make certain that they still have some sort of daily physical activity.