Promoting exercise for kids or, increasing your kids exercise is perhaps one of the most important parental responsibilities. As a parent, you are the greatest example and a genuine role model of what is good and what isn’t.
Still, convincing kids to ‘exercise’ can be a hard task – and call me naïve, but I don’t think this is because children don’t understand the importance of exercise. They do. There are enough animated role models (cue picture of Homer Simpson) portraying the negative effects of poor eating habits and laziness.
So then, why is it sometimes still a struggle to get our kids moving? Well, one reason might be how our opportunities for exercise are framed.
We love all exercise here at Be Physiology, but when we’re talking kids, the afternoon run just doesn’t cut it.
Exercise for kids needs to be structured in a way that is fun, intriguing and exciting. So it doesn’t feel like or comes across as ‘exercise’. It just so happens to be a game that is physically active. So long as they’re moving, it’s working – use your creative flare!
Side note: any adults out there keen for a game of tiggy, hit us up. We’re not too mature for the greatest game of all time!
If you’re not feeling so creative though, here are a few games that you can play that will do just the trick:
- Balloon Balance – Keep a balloon in the air using your hands and feet. Expert mode: No hands, no feet. Just your breath.
- Dance – The most feel-good movement ever invented. Great for building your child’s confidence too. Here’s a tip – anything disco!
- Races – The trick is to let them win here and there. Keep them competitive and feeling like they are on your level.
- Tiggy – Similar to races, use your acting skills and prove how fast they are.
- Sports – Pick what they like. Not what you like. They’ll do the rest.
- Jump Rope – Can take some time to pick up but it’s all the more satisfying when kids pick up a new skill.
- Red Rover – A Personal Favourite. But might need the whole neighbourhood to get this one going.
- Stuck in the Mud – Another personal favourite, but again – power in numbers.
And if you can’t get your kids off their gaming console (don’t worry, we get it)… Wii Fit!
Why is exercise important for kids?
- Improved Fitness and Strength
- Improved Cognitive Function (Learning, Memory, Concentration)
- Enhanced Bone Development
- Improved Confidence and Self-Esteem
- Provides More Opportunities to Socialize and Make Friends!
- Less Stress
- Encourages Healthy Growth and Development
- Lazy kids can turn into lazy adults