Tips to Encourage Kids to Exercise

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By Luciana Oliveira

Kids are naturally wired to play and stay active, but just like the rest of us, sometimes they need motivation and encouragement. All Physical Exercise teachers and athletic coaches know that making exercise more about play and less about work is key to keeping both kids and adults physically active and healthy. That being said, here are some tips to help encourage habits to the young ones that will last a lifetime. 


Begin by explaining to the kids why exercise is important and that it is not just about moving the body. Emphasize that the best workout is something that you enjoy as you move. In addition, allow them to pick activities or even come up with ideas. 


Stay upbeat! Provide a lot of positive reinforcement and remind the young ones to encourage their friends and family members as well. You will all enjoy cheering on, particularly if you praise the effort rather than the results. For example, rather than telling them they are fast runners, stay in the ”wow, you really pushed yourself hard today! Great job!”


The secret to the success of the HEAL program is that it doesn’t focus on competition or comparisons. No two kids or even adults are the same. Everyone’s fitness levels vary. We can all improve whether you are a couch potato, an Olympic athlete, or somewhere in-between. Remind your kid how far or fast they have come and how much they are improving. You can even get a fitness tracker which allows them to set goals for themselves and witness their individual progress, regardless of their current shape. 

You should also teach the young ones about ”heart power” as well as how to find their heart rate and track it as they work out. Emphasize the fact that it’s a better measure of health compared to weight loss. 

Avoid anything that diminishes confidence. Exercise shouldn’t be a form of punishment. Similarly, you shouldn’t use food as a form of reward. Remind your kids about the positive effects experienced right after exercises such as improved mood and a boost in energy. The ultimate goal is to help the young ones learn to appreciate exercise and the benefits it provides. 


Mix it up. Everyone gets bored and frustrated when working out becomes a chore. As such, you’ll want to look for exercise ideas that can include other kids like Soccer Stars Academy weekly classes.

Lead by example. Kids tend to model their attitude and behavior from caregivers and are more likely to heed your advice if they see you doing the same workouts you recommend, or even better when you do it with them. This way, they are more likely to pick up on your habits, leading to better health.

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Luciana joined our team as a mum blogger in 2020. A dedicated mum to a lively daughter and a dog, Luna, Luciana brings authenticity and passion to every post. Her expertise in parenting and lifestyle topics offers practical, relatable advice for real-life situations.

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