Getting your child more interested in exercise is one of the many struggles of modern day parenting. With physical activity taking a backseat to video games and the internet, it can feel more like a losing battle. The Huffington Post recently published an article full of great tips that parents can use to get kids off the couch and outside. These activities for children boost their interest because they don’t feel like exercise.

Involve the Family Dog

Try using the family dog as a motivator for going on a walk, jog, or hike. Instead of telling your child that it is time for a walk, word in a more fun way. You could try saying, “It’s time to explore the trail with Rover.” Disguising exercise as activities for children can spark their interest.

Let Them Choose the Event

Another great way to get your child excited about exercise is to allow them to pick the event. You can create a list of activities going on nearby, such as local community or family events. Let your child pick from the list, or come up with their own idea. Make it more interesting by rotating who gets to pick the activity every week. This helps get your entire family involved. For a fun family event, visit our pediatric clinic for an educational movie night every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00 pm. You can meet other families interested in getting more active and setup an activity together.

Find the Right Time for Exercise

Timing plays an important role in your child’s willingness to exercise. Pick the right times for exercise, such as after school or dinner. Ask your child what times work best for them and try to set a schedule based around their answer.

Keep Exercise Spontaneous

Exercise doesn’t need to feel like a routine. Keep it spontaneous to get your child more interested. Try doing a jumping jack challenge during commercials, or racing to the front door after grocery shopping. You can also mix and match the types of activities you do throughout the week. This keeps your child guessing what activity will be next and increases their desire to participate.

These tips can help you start introducing more physical activity to your family. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your time together. When exercise is enjoyable, children will be more likely to want to get active on their own. For more advice on healthy living, visit our Health Resources page or stop by the Woodburn Pediatric Clinic in person.