The key to a happy, healthy life is making exercise a part of our daily routines, and if there’s one habit to pass on to our children, it’s having an active routine. But these days, with the lure of the tablet and the TV, sometimes it can be hard to get them engaged in sport – the figures we hear about childhood obesity levels show that we need to do more to get our kids to embrace playing a sport – it can also help combat bad behaviour in bored teens. Give them the gift of a healthy future by making exercise a part of their lives from an early age. Here’s how to get them exciting about playing sports:
Pick a Team
If there’s a local school team in a sport you like, getting your child involved in watching and supporting their games, even before they are old enough to join in, can give them a desire to be a part of the team themselves when they’re older. Its all about finding what inspires them. Do they want to watch the basketball team shoot hoops? Are they interesting in the gymnastics squad? Or even something like a martial art or wrestling, If they see the team in their bright custom wrestling singlets, its likely to make them want to wear one themselves. So get out there and support your local school teams with your child and get them excited to play.
Make It Effortless
Fitting family exercise into your daily routine shouldn’t be a big struggle. Make it a part of your daily lives and your children will grow up with high levels of activity. For example, if you need to pick up some supplies, have the family strap their helmets on and go on a bike ride to get it. Or make an after-dinner walk part of your routine. Finding ways to work activity around other things you already need to do embeds it into your life and will make it second-nature for kids growing up.
Lead by Example
In order for your kids to lead an active life, they need to see you doing the same. So make sure you practice what you preach and not only will your health benefit, but your kids will too. Set your own goals and make sure that you celebrate sporting achievements with your family. Whether it’s training for a fun run or that weekly game of squash, let them see that exercise is a rewarding part of your own life and they’re likely to follow suit.
Choose Active Hobbies
Doing a team sport isn’t the only way to introduce your family to a world beyond the couch. Consider starting a garden together, where the whole family grows something together and uses the produce to make a meal together. Even if you only have space for a window box, plant some carrots, have your kids tend to them, and when they’re ready, harvest them and turn them into a delicious carrot cake together. The activity of being outside and gardening together is a gentle enticement to activity without being too forced – and it’s a fantastic family activity to do together as well.