Kids are more in tune with technology than ever before. Sometimes that means all the resources they need for self-growth, and sometimes it means more excuses to turn into couch potatoes.
It’s best to introduce kids to fitness programs early. That way, they’ll build healthy exercise habits that will benefit them for their entire lives.
From sports to Krav Maga for Kids, here are some tips to help get your kids away from digital distractions and start taking up hobbies that will help them keep their minds and bodies sharp for their whole lives to come.
1. Gameify It
Gameification, the concept of adding game-like elements to something in order to make it more appealing to engage with, has been proven to work wonders with business and education when implemented correctly, and the same ideas can apply to kid’s health as well. Putting your Kid’s physical fitness into the context of gaming, with scores and rewards based on their performance, can make them excited to do better and encourage good habits. Setting weekly or monthly goals, with prizes to incentivize your kid to reach them, will make a world of difference towards inspiring enthusiasm in physical activity.
2. Positive Reinforcement
Nobody likes a screaming soccer mom or a belligerent hockey dad, least of all the kids their ire is directed towards. Kids fitness programs like sports are a lot more effective and engaging for them if you compliment them when they’re doing well instead of badgering them when they struggle; there’s no better feeling than to know you’re getting a thumbs up from your friends and family. You don’t have to treat them like Sammy Sosa every time they hit a bunt, but giving them the proper credit when they succeed will be far more encouraging than dressing them down when they fail.
3. Self-Defense and Martial Arts
Speaking of self-esteem, what better way is there to feel better about yourself than to know you can take down any goons that try to hassle you? These physical disciplines can give children a much-needed confidence boost, and can be a great alternative for kids who don’t take to team sports but still want (or need) to get fit. Teaching a kid self-defense in a controlled environment is a great way to teach them discipline and responsibility, and isn’t a half-bad method of burning off fat and sugar to boot.
A self-defense class like Krav Maga for Kids at Krav Maga Worldwide is the ultimate kids fitness program. It teaches children habits that will help keep them in shape, and the skills to help them stay safe that will benefit them for their entire lives.
4. Let Their Friends Join the Fun
Whether it’s a good habit like studying for a test or a bad one like smoking, kids are far more likely to engage in certain activities if their peers are doing them as well. Why not join up with the other parents in your neighborhood and try to make sports and high-energy activities something your entire block can get involved in? A weekly soccer or softball game will be a lot more enticing to a youngster if they know all their pals are going to be on the field playing with them.
5. Switch it Up
Sports are all about practice and getting better at something worthwhile, but there’s no sense in torturing a kid with one grueling disappointment after another if a certain athletic pursuit isn’t shaping up to be their taste. Don’t get too discouraged if your child isn’t taking to a particular kids fitness program like soccer or basketball; golf or judo might end up being right up their alley. There are as many different ways to get fit as there are kids in the world, and one of them is bound to stick with your child.
6. Teach Them Not to Compare Themselves with Others
Children can get hyped up when they realize they’re doing a good job, but they can just as easily become discouraged if they see that one of their peers is even better than they are at something they love. Sometimes it’s necessary to explain to your little one that everyone has different body types and skill levels, and the proficiency of another child has nothing to do with how well they do the exact same thing. Teach your kids that physical fitness is more than how they compare to others. If they’re having fun and staying healthy, they’re getting everything they need out of the sport in question.
7. Watch Sports with Them
Kids love to spend time with their parents from an early age, and they have a tendency to become interested in the same things that you are. To get your child interested, help build their excitement for a kids fitness program in advance.
Sit your child down with you the next time your team hits the field, and let them ask questions about what they’re seeing and how the game is being played. Your excitement can be infectious, and teaching them to engage with their passions will both keep them interested and help increase their understanding of sports in general.
8. Let Them Decide and Explore for Themselves
Free play is an important part of growing up, and playing by yourself or in an unstructured way is a great way for a kid to figure out what kinds of structured activities they will enjoy. Sometimes a child can get overwhelmed if they’re pushed into group activities with too much fervor. Letting them explore and exhaust private activities on their own terms will often help them appreciate the appeal of team efforts and disciplined tasks in the long run.
What do you think about our list? What are your go-to kids fitness programs? Are there any ways you’ve managed to get your children excited about sports and fitness that we haven’t mentioned here? There are almost as many ways for kids to engage in sports and athletics as there are kids themselves, so don’t hesitate to tell us about anything we may have left out or share any success stories that might help other parents raise fit and healthy kids with great physical fitness habits. Leave us a comment below and tell us all about your experience!