We all want our children to grow into happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adults. But if your child lives more of a sedentary lifestyle, he could already be missing out on all the fun things in life. This puts him at higher risk of developing certain conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Note that according to a study, a sedentary lifestyle begins as early as age 7. This explains why overall activity starts to decrease during the early school year.
Barriers to Living a Physically Active Lifestyle
As it turns out, there are two things that stop kids from participating in various physical activities. These are as follows.
- Internal Barriers
Internal barriers are a kid’s feelings and attitudes towards activities. These refer to a child’s lack of self-efficacy, lack of motivation, and lack of energy. If kids find can’t find their motivation, gather enough energy to stay physically active, and find the courage to believe in what they can do, they will really find it hard to maintain enough physical activity necessary for a healthy life.
- External Barriers
External barriers, on the other hand, are the thing that physically stops kids from engaging in physical activity. This can be due to their lack of resources, lack of time to stay active, or lack of social support. These are all physical circumstances that either interfere or prevent them from staying active.
Knowing the things that stop our kids from living an active lifestyle is the first step in helping them change their life for the better. The more involved parents are in fighting these barriers, the more likely the kids will start embracing an active life. Know that parents and their guardians play a huge role in both barriers.
Motivating Your Kids to Live a More Active Lifestyle
It is true that kids’ parents often belong to the external barriers that hinder kids from leading a healthy lifestyle. But you can also be the reason why your kids lack energy, motivation, and self-efficacy to stay active. Here’s how you can turn things around and encourage your kids to stay active.
Help them identify their barriers
Kids can have different barriers that stop them from engaging in regular physical activity. It is important that you help your children identify what barriers they are experiencing. This way, you will find it easier to help them overcome these things.
For instance, if their barrier is a lack of energy, then you can work with your children and their pediatrician to come up with the best way to help them attain more energy. Help them get more adequate rest and sleep and serve nutritious and energy-boosting food.
Offer Direct Tangible Support
Your support as their parent is the best thing you can give to your kids. But know that it is not enough that you allow them to sign up for the activities they wish to participate in. Your presence and your willingness to be physically there can be the very motivation they need to start living a healthier life.
For one, you can supervise them when shopping for their sports gear. You can help your kids find the right mouthpiece for football practice. This will help boost their confidence knowing you are thinking about their safety every time they play on the field.
Drive your kids to their practice and watch their games. Allow them to take breaks whenever they need. Avoid nagging them into trying out another sport just because you prefer your favorite sport over their choice.
Play as an Active Role Model to Your Kids
One can’t simply motivate their kids to stay active if they themselves are couch potatoes. You can’t simply expect your kids to start signing up for activities inside and outside of school if all they see from you are passive activities. If you want your kids to change their sedentary life, start by improving your own lifestyle.
Stop lounging most hours of the day on your couch and start moving. Show your kids how enjoyable being active is by engaging in different activities. You don’t necessarily need to have your own sport just to entice them to be active.
Instead of simply allowing your pooch to play in the yard, take your kids with you to walk your dog to the park. Allow kids to play in playgrounds and invite their friends over for some backyard fun and games. Show them how to have fun outdoors and they will soon reduce their dependency on their gadgets.
There are many things you can do to start encouraging your kids to live a more active lifestyle. Start supporting your kids’ choices and be their active role model. Show them that it is more fun to run, play, jump, and dance than to simply watch in their gadgets all day. Help them recognize the things that stop them from being active. This way, your kids will be able to live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.