There are all sorts of reasons why children and young people should get involved in fitness. From tackling the childhood obesity epidemic to encouraging team spirit, the advantages are both numerous and diverse. Gone are the days when childhood fitness was just a run around the track in the drizzling rain. Now, there are all sorts of innovative ways that you can help a child become more active. Here are some of the main methods to create these healthy habits for life.
Rewards and prizes
Kids love nothing more than a good game, so building rewards into their fitness plans is a good idea. Younger children who are unsure about fitness may find that they are incentivized to go on a hike with mom or dad through a star chart, for example. Older children, meanwhile, may get excited at the prospect of a neighborhood hockey or baseball league that allows them to compete against their friends – and if one doesn’t exist in your area, why not consider setting it up?
Setting the example
A great way for parents to get their children physically active is to act as role models by getting involved in family fitness activities too. The benefits of this are numerous: not only do children develop a habit for fitness that will hopefully last them a lifetime, but you will also have a chance to get fit and healthy. What’s more, you’ll also be able to spend quality time with the kids. Whether it’s a swim in the local pool or simply playing football in the yard, there are plenty of ways you can give your children the exercise bug in a fun, family-friendly way.
Schools and colleges
Because schools tend to have communal facilities that aren’t available at home, educational establishments are often really good places for children to practice specific aspects of fitness. At the Stamford American International School of Hong Kong, students learn how to perform all sorts of sports and exercise tasks and can also visit a sports hall and a heated swimming pool. This sort of curriculum is perfect for giving children the chance to try out different forms of fitness such as swimming that they wouldn’t necessarily have access to at home.
When kids are unsure about something, they often err on the side of caution and refuse to do it rather than take the chance. As a parent, it’s wise to make sure that you time your fitness suggestions strategically to make sure they have the best chance of being accepted – and being weather-savvy is a key part of this. If it’s sunny one Sunday morning, for example, then a trip to the outdoor swimming pool is a great idea, and if it’s freezing cold, then a hike up a mountain is best avoided!
Encouraging kids to become fitness savvy is a great way to make sure that they grow up to be happy and healthy adults with a positive attitude to their health. From specialist equipment they use in school to a ball game in the backyard on a Saturday afternoon, there are plenty of ways to make sure your child learns to love physical activity.