Encouraging your children to stay active throughout their everyday life is imperative to keeping a wide range of health conditions at bay.
From improving their quality of sleep to helping them maintain a healthy weight, staying fit and healthy may be vital at all stages of life but it is arguably even more important during a child’s development.
However, whether it be through the demands of school, a busy family life or the lack of a role model, encouraging your children to exercise and keep healthy can be a lot easier said than done – especially in today’s day and age of technology and smartphones.
So, with this in mind, we thought we’d compile a few fun ways to enjoy keeping healthy. From brushing their teeth to playing outside, here are some of the best things you can do to inspire them to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Turn teeth brushing into a game
Brushing your teeth on a regular basis is vital to ensuring good oral hygiene, helping remove the bacteria and plaque that cause tooth decay, and maintaining your pearly whites for as long as possible. Therefore, it's important to establish good brushing habits with your children from a young age, stressing the need to brush teeth a minimum of twice a day.
To do this effectively, why not consider turning the monotony of teeth brushing into more of a game?
Whether it be through reverse psychology, playing copycat, role play, using a song or by playing body brushing – a game where you pretend to brush in all the wrong spots and encourage your children to instruct you on how it really should be done – there are a number of great ways to make brushing your teeth feel like less of a chore.
Do exercise with them
What better way is there to encourage your children to keep fit than by actively doing it with them?
Whether it be a sport like football, an activity like cycling or simply taking them to the park on a regular basis, children will love having the opportunity to spend their spare time playing with their parents, watching and mimicking your habits – both good and bad.
Therefore, if your kids see you being physically active and having fun, they will be a lot more likely to want to get involved themselves and stay active throughout the rest of their lives.
Bring their friends along
One of the best ways to ensure your children stick with exercising over the long-term is by keeping them as engaged as possible. So, why not invite their friends to join in with the fun as well?
Whether it be playing on the trampoline, having a dance in the living room or heading out on a joint bike ride together, your children are more likely to want to exercise if they have a friend around to do it with.
Plus, having a friend around will help create a sense of competition, allowing you to use this as a motivator.
From challenging them both to see who can run faster, do more push-ups or record more steps, offering prizes and rewards to the winner, could help them improve the way they look at physically exercising.
Give appropriate gifts
The gifts you buy for your children can have an impact on how they spend their time. If, for example, you are actively buying them technological gifts like smartphones, games consoles or tablets, they are inevitably going to spend more of their time playing with these.
Therefore, think carefully about the gifts and presents you purchase for your children. To encourage them to live a healthier lifestyle, gifts like rollerblades, bicycles, ice skates, footballs and even certain types of video games could be a better choice.
Likewise, activity-tracking devices like smartwatches could make exercise more fun for your children, while also providing you with the ability to keep tabs on how well and how often your children are exercising.
While some children will love the thrill of exercising on a regular basis, others won’t, leaving the onus on you – as their parents – to create fun ways that promote the importance of staying fit and healthy in a fun way.
However, by following the hints and tips listed above, you can do exactly that, taking the most monotonous of tasks and turning them into something a lot more engaging.
The key thing to remember is to listen to them and take an interest in the types of exercise they enjoy doing. That way, you’ll be able to better recognise how to encourage them to stick with them for longer.