How to Encourage Your Kid to Be Physically Active

by Andrea Gibbs | I’m Andrea Gibbs. Born, raised, and still living in New York. I’m a work-at-home mom with a background in business development, strategy, and social media marketing. I’m a blog contributor at Baby Steps Daycare in Forest Hills, New York to motivate and educate other parents about how they can get their children ahead of the game in school.

Like adults, children need to be physically active to stay healthy. Inactive kids are more likely to have stronger feelings of low self-esteem that contribute to poor grades, lack of motivation, or depression. They may also develop chronic health complications requiring more time and resources than an active child would. It’s important to encourage younger children to be physically active because it can help them grow into strong, healthy young adults with stronger relationships with their families and peers.

Parents can play a significant role in shaping their child’s self-discipline skills and helping their kid become more physically active. In this article, you will find the best trick and tips on how to encourage your kid to be physically active. You will also find some ideas on how to become physically active yourself.

How to Encourage Your Kid to Be Physically Active?

cheerful asian mother and daughter stretching body in living room
Photo by Kamaji Ogino on

1. Exercise Together

Nothing encourages a kid to be physically active better than his peer group. Of course, you can get more of your kid’s friends involved by planning some physical activities together with them, but also let your child invite his friends so he can be involved in planning. It is an important way for kids to develop social skills. It will also allow him to feel like he is making his own decisions regarding physical activity, rather than always relying on you to make decisions.

There are many exercises you can do with your child. Some examples are bike riding, rollerblading, swimming, hiking, or running. You can also introduce stretching exercises to your routine. Good stretching exercises you can perform with your child include head to toe, back and forth, and side to side. These stretches can be a great way to get involved with your child and also help improve health. These are all excellent exercises that will help your child to be physically active. You can start by giving her some coaching when he starts to do it alone.

2. Make Physical Activity Fun

Sometimes kids are reluctant about physical activity because they don’t like certain activities or think it’s boring. That’s why it is essential to make physical activity fun. To help your child become involved in an activity, take note about what types of activities they are interested in, or take them to try out some new activities on your own.

You can also make physical activity fun by adding a reward system. Set up a special time for your child to do something he likes nights after a workout. For example, you might say you will let him watch his favorite TV show if he works out during the day. Another option is to play with his favorite toys if he reaches certain goals throughout the week. When your kid is physically active, the fun he has will encourage him to keep ongoing.

3. Set a Good Example

When it comes to children, adults should be role models. Kids want to be just like the adults in their lives. If they see you doing things that are good for your health, then they are more likely to do those things as well. On the other hand, if they watch you make unhealthy choices or ignore your health, they are less likely to follow suit. 

So make sure you are setting a good example when it comes to your health, and encourage your kid to do the same. In addition, try to participate in activities that are good for your health wherever you can. For example, walk around the block instead of taking the elevator when you can. Take a 15-minute walk when you get home from work or school instead of sitting down to watch TV. You and your child can even take a walk together and talk about how happy you feel after exercising together. 

4. Play Games

When you play a game together as a family, you’re encouraging your child to be physically active. Games can include tag, hide and seek, or any way that gets the family moving and laughing, whether on a walk or a play date.

Sports games are also suitable for encouraging physical activity in the family. There are many of these types of activities available from sports equipment stores. Some of these sports include bowling, basketball, soccer, baseball, tennis and hockey. There are also opportunities to play non-contact games like tetherball or dodge ball, enabling children to practice playing without their bodies being injured.

5. Encourage Healthy Diet

Physical activity is not enough; your kid needs a healthy diet to keep his body and mind active and healthy. Ensure he gets all the vitamins and minerals he needs by encouraging him to eat fruits and vegetables, lean meats like chicken or fish, whole grains, nuts, beans and many more foods that promote good health.

A unique tip for your diet is to have at least one meal together with your kid in a day. By having meals together, your kid will learn about healthy eating habits, and you can teach him how to cook. In addition, it is a good experience for your child since it helps him be physically active by preparing his food. You can start this by encouraging him to make his favorite salad or pick up ingredients for a smoothie.

6. Make Changes Slowly

Studies have shown that if you make sudden changes in your child’s diet or exercise routine, they are less likely to stick with it over time. Therefore, it is important to make changes gradually, starting with one small change at a time. 

Don’t impose the new diet on your kid immediately. Instead, let him be part of the process by suggesting healthy foods he can try first. Then, when you are both happy with the results, start moving forward with his new diet. If it takes weeks or months to get used to this new routine, he will be less likely to give up if something else comes up that is more important than changing his diet or exercise routine.

The Takeaway

The good thing about being physically active is that it helps your body stay healthy. Of course, you want to be able to go out on the field with your child and have fun playing an active game. With just a few tips, you can help him stay healthy by being physically active every day.

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