It is recommended that kids get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. The two biggest benefits out of being physically active are a lower risk to diseases later in life, especially Type 2 Diabetes, and having a higher self-esteem. Other benefits include:
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Feeling more energetic and alert
- Better sleep
- Having a more positive attitude
Parents, when you are motivating your kids, remember to keep it fun. Help your kid find an activity that is fun, active, and rewarding that they enjoy doing. If it is fun, they will want to do more of it!
When kids get older, it can be a bit more of a challenge to keep them physically active. School can be more demanding, they may not feel athletically good enough to play sports, or very busy working families are a few reasons. The trick is for the parent to help the kid with his or her skills with the activity, like practice catching a baseball and fielding groundballs to make them more self-confident, or find new activities with the kids that they will still enjoy.
Especially for teens, let them know that they are in charge of what activity they will do and it doesn’t matter what they do as long as they get physical activity regularly. Once they get started, teens will enjoy the feeling of well-being and reduced stress. To be sure to keep up the motivation, parents should offer transportation, equipment, or companionship. Also, teens are more likely to do things in a group of peers, so parents may want to try to organize opportunities for their kids to interact and be active with their friends.
Be sure to encourage your kids and let them know that you are happy they are staying active. If they are on a sports team, go see the games, or help them practice on the weekends. No matter what activity they choose, make sure you encourage them to continue!