When you’re a fitness buff, it’s sometimes painful to see people lazing about. Let’s not use lazy liberally. We’re talking, never exercises voluntarily, never suggests even so much as taking a walk. But what hurts more is seeing children well on their way to obesity and diabetes.
At least adults have the option to change their lives, but children have no choice. If you are close to a youth who seems to want to be more active, but doesn’t know where to start, you can be the change in their life. It’s important to develop healthy habits while young, and exercising is critical to living a healthy life.
Whenever starting a new habit, especially when dealing with either a challenging one or when you’re working with children, it’s important to make it fun. Since you’ll be dealing with children and a challenging new habit, you’d better try your best to make this fun. Don’t focus on running laps, doing push ups, or running the bleachers. Instead, look for ways to make kids want to get active.
If cardio is your goal, why not a game of tag in the park? If you’re dealing with a child who can’t run very well, maybe make it a game with Nerf guns… that way they can still play while not necessarily having to run as fast as everyone else, but they’re still encouraged to move around. If you’d prefer not to involve shooting, how about some good old fashioned slip ‘n slide. Even slip ‘n slide involves a little bit of running.
If you’re aiming for strength building, consider a trampoline. Children love playing on trampolines. They will build core muscles, leg muscles, and even back muscles. Make sure you get a safe one. If you think your kids will enjoy a trampoline, take them to your local Toys R Us to pick out their new exercise toy. This will increase buy in and make them want to play (exercise).
Once you have managed to entice the kids you are working with to step outside and move around a little, they will grow increasingly confident in their ability to move. Once there, you have opened the gateway door to exercise, congratulations!