Studies suggest that up to 75% of UK children are inactive. Physical activity provides incredible health and wellbeing benefits for all ages. If you struggle to prise your children away from screens, or your kids don’t have much interest in playing sport, making exercise fun is a brilliant way to encourage healthier, more active lifestyles. In this guide, we’ll explore some easy ways you can make exercise enjoyable.
Try new activities
Doing the same thing over and over again can get boring, even for kids who enjoy playing sport or being active. If your children have lost interest in active hobbies or you’re looking for ways to encourage them to increase their activity levels, trying new things is an excellent idea. From rock climbing and bike rides to beginners’ golf, tennis or squash sessions and martial arts classes for kids, there’s a huge range of options available. Varying activities will help children to maintain high levels of motivation and it can also be great fun. Ask fellow parents, friends and neighbours for recommendations, check local facilities to search for classes and use the Internet to find local clubs and teams.
Exercise is beneficial for the body, but it can also have incredible mental health benefits. As well as reducing stress and making you feel good, physical activity offers a brilliant opportunity to meet new people and spend quality time with friends and family. Encourage your friends to get involved and go to sessions with your children together, look for teams and groups in the local area and use exercise and sport as a social activity. You can go for bike rides with friends, play football in the park or go surfing at the beach with relatives, for example.
Set family goals
Setting a good example will motivate and inspire your child to want to be more active. If you are active, this will rub off on your child. Set family goals and targets, enjoy activities together and get into the habit of exercising as part of your daily routine. From gentle strolls and nature walks to bike rides, playing in the garden after school and spending your weekends kayaking, paddleboarding or trampolining, there are endless ways to have fun and get fit together as a family. It’s also a great idea to set steps targets to encourage daily activity.
Focus on activities your children enjoy
Some children love every sport and they’ll happily try anything. Others dread PE classes at school and they shy away from active pursuits. If your child is reluctant to join teams, or they don’t have much interest in sports or games, try to focus on activities they enjoy. There are many more options available if children don’t like playing football, netball, cricket or tennis, for example. You can try everything from climbing, yoga and dancing to swimming, trampolining, canoeing, martial arts, badminton and watersports.
Most children in the UK don’t do enough exercise. If you’re on a mission to get your family moving, it’s a great idea to try and make physical activity as fun as possible. Try new things, socialise and spend quality time together, set targets and try to find activities that your kids love.