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How To Maintain Motivation For Kids To Be Active

03/08/2017 11:58 BST | Updated 03/08/2017 11:58 BST
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Are you looking for family exercise ideas that can encourage your kids to be more active? These six techniques are bound to help!

As a parent, your main concern will be to ensure that your child is happy and healthy and being regularly active plays a very important role in this. However, maintaining an active lifestyle for your child can be extremely difficult - especially if they're not naturally an exercise-lover.

By nature, some kids just aren't into sports. There's usually nothing wrong with a child who'd prefer to sit-out of their school's annual sports day but if they're spending the majority of their time indoors watching TV or playing on tablets, then it could cause serious health issues.

In this guide, we've shared six tips to motivate your kids to exercise, along with the techniques you can use to pull them away from sitting still watching screens and help them enjoy a more active lifestyle:

1. Set challenges

Kids love nothing more than being set a challenge. From competing against their siblings or friends to win a game of football to attempting to beat new world records, there's an opportunity to incorporate challenges into your mission to encourage your children to become more active.

Consider setting goals for your children and allow them to compete with their siblings or friends in order to promote exercise. One example could be challenging your kids to who can run a lap of your local park in the quickest time, or to keep improving on their own individual time. You could ask your kids who can do the most number of bounces on their trampoline in a set time.

This bit of healthy competition can spark motivation and they'll often love the challenge and become healthier without even realising!

2. Track progress

Another simple way to get kids to exercise is to create a chart that tracks where they are up to with a new exercise plan. Display the chart in a communal area in the home (such as the kitchen) and tick-off the days where your child has managed to complete at least 30 minutes of exercise or set challenges

In our experience we have found that having a constant reminder of their own progress will help kids to motivate themselves. It's also a fantastic method to help older kids who struggle with self-motivation!

3. Give rewards and encouragement

Children thrive when they're given words of encouragement. It's what spurs them on to carry on and push themselves further. After all, what child is going to want to do something they naturally wouldn't want to if they're not getting praised for it?

Whenever your kids are active, always give them rewards or some form of encouragement. This doesn't have to mean showering your child with expensive gifts - a simple "well done!" or some stickers can do the trick and motivate them to continue with their new active lifestyle.

4. Use technology

The number of kids opting to spend time on their gadgets is increasing every year and some children are spending hours a day on tablets or watching TV - an amount that could cause serious implications on their health and social life.

One of the best ways to encourage physical activity for your kids is to try and incorporate some kind of technology into an exercise routine. We all know how much kids these days love to play with their gadgets, so use this as an opportunity to get them moving!

There are many different types of exercise technologies that your kids can use in order to get them active. Gadgets such as step counters can be used for younger children with less of a screen-addiction; older kids could download a fitness tracker onto their device to help them become more motivated. Or find a app, TV programme or video that requires them to do something, maybe a dance routine.

5. Find local classes

Similar to the classes you may have spotted for adults in your local gym, there are also a handful of classes that can be attended by kids to boost their fitness levels.

The NHS have an online tool in which you can find local exercise classes that you can take your kids to. Mainly held in children's and leisure centres, some of these local classes are free and give your child the opportunity to interact with other kids around their age whilst boosting their activity levels.

Becoming part of a local sports team is also a great chance for kids to make friends and become more active.

If your child takes part in these activities regularly, you may not need to push as hard to motivate them to attend. They'll make friends within the group and use the exercise class as a chance to chat and play.

6. Exercise as a family

Children revel and flourish when they spend time with their parents, so use this as your own motivation to get healthier with your children!

Some of the most popular family exercise ideas can be done for free, so there's no excuse for not motivating your kids if you're on a tight budget.

Activities such as all going to your local park, playing with a ball in the back garden and walking to school are just a handful of family exercise ideas that you can use to get your kids to become more active. Whilst they're spending time with you, they're also getting their daily exercise and becoming healthier. It's a win-win situation!

We understand that motivating kids to exercise daily is a struggle that many parents face. However, using some or all of these six techniques, you should be able to encourage your children to enjoy exercising and as a result, will become healthier and happier individuals.

Helen Schoeb is the founder of MyRebounder - a company which has developed products that focus on getting children active whilst have fun. If you have any other ideas, tips and advice on how best to get kids to be more active then we would love to hear them so please contact us.