It can be difficult to keep your children engaged when it comes to exercise, but it doesn't have to be. By encouraging them to try different sports, be creative and help them burn off energy, being active soon becomes a natural part of their daily routine.
Here David Lloyd Leisure's family expert, Sarah Hobbs, offers tips on how to help your child be more active.
1. Enjoyment and play is key for younger children – if a child has positive experiences when taking part in exercise when they are younger, they are more likely to feel confident with exercise as they get older. We find that children discover their sports interests from positive experiences at a young age and this can often lead to a life long passion.
2. Role models are incredibly important for children. They will be inspired to exercise if they can see their parents doing it and can join in with them. Encourage your children to come with you any time you exercise or go to the gym – not only will this improve their fitness but yours too.
3. By changing activities and giving children lots of different choices, you will soon find out what they enjoy doing. Our clubs have structured plans in place which include sports, fun swimming and a vast array of arts and craft activities – these keep kids going so boredom doesn't set in. We don't measure how well the children are doing, this allows them to be free from pressure of being measured and graded and we have found that this is the best way for our smaller members to become involved.
4. Learning to swim and play ball games sets children up for sport in the future. This can begin very early, at home as well as outdoors or in clubs and social environments. Tennis is a great way for children to make friends and lessons are available from an early age to help them learn the basics. It is also an activity that parents can play with their children.
5. We find that music and role play are also great ways to get little people started and it fits with the way they like to learn. Playing music as you move around with your child will encourage them to feel more relaxed and enjoy it more.
David Lloyd Leisure offers a wide range of options so that children can have a choice of what they do. For further information on what they offer for families, take a look at the kids' activities section of the David Lloyd website.