Leading an active lifestyle is important for so many reasons. Being active is proven to reduce the risk for certain diseases, extend your life expectancy, and improve mental health. One of the best ways you can set your kids up for a happy and healthy life is to get them in the habit of being active at a young age! If being active becomes part of their everyday routine, they’re more likely to continue those healthy habits into adulthood. Keeping kids active isn’t always easy, though.
Learn Your Kids Fitness Personality
There are three primary fitness personality types. Once you determine what kind of fitness personality your child has, you’ll be able to better plan physical activities for them. The three types include:
- Athlete – this is someone who enjoys sports and seems to be naturally good at them. They’ll be excited about games, practices, and the prospect of using their athletic talents.
- Casual athlete – this is someone who enjoys being active but may not be as naturally great at it. It’s easy for them to be discouraged when they’re surrounded by athletes.
- Non-athlete – a non-athlete is someone who isn’t particularly interested in physical activity or sports. They’re capable but not very willing to jump into the action.
Make it Fun for Your Kid
Keeping your kids active is all about keeping it fun. If your child starts to dislike what they’re doing or feeling forced to do it, their desire to want to do it will disappear. Plan a variety of different age-appropriate activities for your child to try. This will keep things from getting boring and give them the chance to find an activity they love! Encourage your child to put more time into the activities they enjoy and don’t force them to partake in those they don’t.
Suggestions by Age Group
Keeping kids active looks different at different ages. There are three primary age groups – pre-school, school-aged, and teens. Pre-school kids need physical activities that will keep them engaged without any complex rules. That means team sports should be avoided. Instead, take trips to the park, kick a ball, play tag, and allow them to explore! Something as simple as hopping on one leg counts as physical activity. Don’t set your expectations too high at this age.
School-aged children can engage in a team or individual sports if that’s what they enjoy. Let them try basketball, soccer, or even bowling! If sanctioned sports don’t appeal to your child, try hiking, biking, or karate classes. Classes that include other kids their age are often more appealing than traditional sports. The classes focus on learning a new skill, not being better than someone else.
Teens are able to do anything school-aged kids can do and more! Encourage your teen to try out different forms of physical activity that they’ve never done before. Create a schedule so they’ll always have time to be active despite all of their other commitments at this age. A family trip to climb a rock wall or a mother-daughter yoga class is a great way to get some much-needed quality time with your teen too!