As mentioned in a previous blog, Sport England have recently published their latest Active Lives Survey report for the 2018/2019 academic year. Despite an increase of 3.6% of children between the ages of 5 to 16 doing the recommended 60 minutes or more physical activity each day, it was noted that this improvement was mainly driven by schools’.
So if schools’ are the main instigators of getting our children moving more and increasing the statistics mentioned above, how can we as parents play a more influential role in raising that increased percentage furthermore?
Be a role model
It’s no secret that at a young age especially, your the main influence on your children, so it’s important to keep in mind that if you’re not active and don’t enjoy physical activity yourself, it’s only natural that your children ultimately follow suite and will be reluctant to participate in sport and physical activity just like you.
If you are that type of person who isn’t over keen on the whole idea of exercise, start by taking small steps to begin with as a family and begin with non strenuous activities such as going for a walk or bike ride, which is a great way of incorporating exercise into family time over the weekend.
Make it a game
Kids love games, so why not turn physical activity into one? You can buy a child friendly pedometer for as little as £5.00. By doing this, you can set both yourself and your children a step count activity goal to achieve, and to make it even more fun, you could turn it into a competition too.
Setting goals and making it into a game motivates your child and associates exercise with fun, which increases the chances of them having a lifelong enjoyment of participating in physical activity as they grow up.
Create a tracking and reward system
Creating a fun incentive to participating in daily physical activity can add to that much needed motivation levels to ensure it’s an enjoyable experience, so why not get your child to help design a tracking board? That way you can both see what activities have been done throughout the week as well as the duration.
You could even add a reward system to this, so if your child does a certain amount of exercise each day throughout the week, you can then allow them to choose something fun to do over the weekend, which also puts an end to you racking your brains trying to find them something fun to do every weekends, because they have already made the decision themselves.