We want our kids to live long, healthy, happy lives. And one way to ensure they have a better chance of that happening is to get them involved with their health. Fitness is about a balance of eating healthy, enjoying life, and staying physically active. Youth fitness can be very challenging, though, because not all kids are motivated to just follow a fitness regimen that doesn’t interest them.
Most times, you will find that if you want to get your kids interested in fitness and their overall health, you have to find a way to appeal to them. How do you do it? Check out these tips and creative ways to get your kids interested in fitness!
Model It Yourself
If you’re preaching fitness and general healthy eating to your kids while you’re eating Cheez-Its on the couch every day, your kids aren’t going to feel motivated. In fact, they might actually be offended that you think they have to follow a regimen that you aren’t willing to follow yourself.
We will discuss not making fitness about a regimen shortly, but here we want to encourage you to be a model of the behavior you want to instill for their fitness. Keep it simple. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet. Ensure you’re being active on some level and working toward good habits.
No one has to be perfect, so don’t try to be. Simply show them what good habits can look like and model those habits. It’s also ok to be a role model for having ice cream and sweet treats on occasion. It’s all about good habits and finding a balance.
Fitness Can Be Fun
When you use the word “fitness” with kids, they are going to roll their eyes and instantly dread it. Instead of saying “we’re getting healthy” or “we’re getting fit,” come up with ways to make it fun for everyone. Don’t use the words “fitness” and “healthy.” Instead, find a fun option that is active and engaging.
Encourage balanced eating habits in fun ways for your kiddos. When something sounds enjoyable, your child is far more likely to want to engage. This might include getting them involved in sports that they love or are interested in. Sports are a great way to keep kids active, and it’s doing something they enjoy.
But you might also need to consider something besides sports. Maybe your child isn’t athletic, but loves nature. Make a point to go on nature walks regularly!
Get Everyone Involved Together
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A family that stays active together has way more fun doing it! What are some activities that you can do together as a family? Working on your fitness goals together, or even just being active together, is so much more enjoyable.
This way, no one feels singled out or like they have a problem. Instead, you’re working together and having a blast. It’s not just about fitness anymore. Your family is bonding, and you’re getting in some physical activity while you’re at it.
There are so many ways that you can do family things. Here are a few great ideas!
- Family walks
- Bike riding
- Activity centers (bowling, laser tag, etc.)
- Jump centers
- Outdoor games
Spend a day at the pickleball courts, go hiking on a local trail, grab the bikes and go out on a long ride, or find some other activity that you can all enjoy together. Fitness doesn’t have to just be a workout in a gym or lifting weights.
Make Nutrition Flavorful
There is a balance when it comes to nutrition. Teach your children about how food fuels your body. And always educate on the importance of a balanced diet. It’s ok to have a treat from time to time. It’s also ok to focus on fueling your body with good food choices.
You never want this to be about restriction or about a diet. Those words are often triggers to people. Try new foods, encourage fueling the body, and share the benefits of certain foods or dishes that you decide to try.
Get the kids involved in planning menus and meals and understanding how ingredients matter. Integrate all food groups and create a balance. Make it good so they don’t just turn up their noses or spend the rest of their lives avoiding a healthy diet.
Make It a Daily Routine
Making physical activity and balanced nutrition part of a daily routine can introduce and encourage fitness without actually saying it out loud. Instead, some of those things simply become part of the routine and part of what you do every day. It might even just be certain days.
For example, maybe on Mondays and Wednesdays the family takes a walk after dinner. Maybe every Tuesday, you fix a healthy, protein-based breakfast that the kids look forward to every week. Find the daily routines that work for you and your kids and just make them part of the plans. It’s a great way to set an expectation and create an ongoing habit.
Beware of setting strict regimens. Eventually your child will tire of these rules and regimens. But when you work movement and habits into the daily routine without making it feel like harsh rules, it just becomes a part of their day.
Work on Youth Fitness with Florida Personal Training
At Florida Personal Training, we offer a variety of youth fitness programs and options. Get your kids involved with fun after-school programs, age-appropriate classes, or even a family class that brings everyone together!
We have a variety of youth programs that will encourage healthy habits and physical activities that kids of all ages can enjoy. Contact us today to learn more about the options and get your kids excited about their health!