Healthy Choices: Getting Reluctant Kids Moving

Ashley Young
March 31, 2014

We all hear it all the time: childhood obesity is on the rise! Kids need to move! But what if your kid doesn't want to join the soccer team or just hates the thought of physical activity? We have come up with some ideas to help you get your reluctant kids moving.

If your kid hates sports, try a dance party. This one couldn't be easier. All you have to do is crank up some music with a hard-to-resist beat. You don't even need to set aside time for it. Put a radio in the bathroom and shake your booties while you brush your teeth. Turn on music in the kitchen and work it while you wait for dinner. If you get in the habit of having music playing, your family might get out of the habit of turning on the TV.

If your kid hates loud and fast activities or competition, try yoga. Yoga is everywhere these days, so look around your community. Chances are there are yoga classes somewhere nearby and there are often options that allow kids to get in on the om, whether it's a mom and me class or a class just for kids. There are also plenty of DVDs and podcasts to do at home. Don't forget that if you have a subscription to a video service (like Netflix or Amazon Prime), you can also get DVDs or stream yoga videos from there!

If your kid can't tear himself away from video games, try a different kind of game. There are plenty of games that get kids' little bodies moving. How about a heated game of family charades? Or your kids can flex and bend themselves into pretzels playing something like Twister. If your kid absolutely has to be plugged in, consider investing in video games that get their whole bodies moving. It will still give kids that video game fix, but there are many games that get them off the couch and simulate bowling, tennis, dance, guitar, and more.

If all else fails, be sneaky. There are many ways to get a non-sporty kid moving in ways that kids might not even realize count as moving. You could enlist their help raking leaves, shoveling snow, or sweeping and mopping the floors. Or head to the mall and walk around at a faster pace than usual. Park a little farther away at the grocery store, or challenge your kids to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever you can. Simply thinking of little ways to get more movement into their daily routine can make a big difference.

No matter what, though, remember that the best way to ensure your kids lead a healthy, active lifestyle is to model that yourself. Try to think of ways that you can move more and your kids might just follow your lead (even if you have to drag them kicking and screaming at first).

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