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  • Writer's pictureJackie Madison

How to Motivate Your Kids to Exercise

Updated: Aug 8, 2021

As a parent, your top priority is always your child’s wellbeing. On top of your child’s safety and happiness, of course, their wellbeing includes their health. So it can be frustrating and stressful when you see that your kids aren’t doing what they need to do to care for their health, like exercising.

We all have times when we struggle to get motivated, but as a parent, you can be the #1 cheerleader who gets your kids up and moving around to keep them healthy. Try these strategies to motivate your kids to exercise.

Consider Your Kids’ Interests

How to Motivate Your Kids to Exercise

One of the top reasons people don’t stick with a workout routine is because they get bored, and kids are no exception. Not every form of exercise needs to have reps and sets like something you’d see on a workout video. You can get creative and find active ways to engage with your kids’ interests.

If you have a child that loves watching a certain sport, find a way to play that sport in your backyard or in a nearby park. What if your child loves video games? Try creating an obstacle course or a game-like workout that’s based on their favorite video games. There are always ways to find common ground between what they want to do and what you want them to do.

Create Healthy Competition

Competition is a great motivator. Turn workouts into a competition in some way. For instance, you might keep track of your kids’ run times or the calories they burn so they can compete with each other (as long as it stays friendly). Or keep track of certain accomplishments in your kids’ workouts so they can compete with themselves, constantly striving to break their own records.

Incorporate Exercise into Other Activities

Who says that exercise time needs to be for exercise alone? In fact, sometimes the best way to work out is to disguise it so it looks and feels like play. For example, instead of driving to go out for a family lunch, take a bike ride to the restaurant.

You can get creative with at-home hobbies too. Have a family movie night but play a game: everyone has to do a certain number of sit-ups, push-ups, or other activities every time a character says a particular line or something specific happens in the movie. Maybe you’re watching a Disney movie and everyone has to jog in place for a minute every time a character sings, for example.

Join In

One of the best ways to convince your kids to do anything is to lead by example, and that includes working out. Instead of encouraging your kids to exercise on their own, schedule family workouts that everyone participates in. Everyone gets the healthy exercise they need, and as an added bonus, the workout is more fun because you’re spending time together.

Building a Healthier Family

Every healthy person’s journey started with a single good habit, and your family can start being healthier the same way. Use the tips above to motivate your kids to exercise until working out becomes a habit. To learn more about family fitness, check out our Mommy and Me programs and follow us on Instagram for family fitness tips.

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