Simple Ways to Motivate Children to Exercise: PLUS a Review of Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus, Wii Sports and Wii Resort
In today’s society, filled with so many electronics, including online games, hand-held game systems, i-phones, and a wide variety of home game systems, it’s so important to encourage children to exercise. We live in a society where game trading has become a common pastime, and searching for that “perfect” game has become an obsession. So how can we motivate children to exercise and make physical fitness as part of their daily routine? Rather than just telling them about the importance of exercise, show them, expose them and influence them.
Tip List on Motivating Kids to Exercise
1. Set a good example. The best way to teach kids about the importance of exercise is to set a good example. So as parents, make exercising a part of your daily routine, whether it includes a morning jog, daily stretching, or stationary bicycle riding. Wear workout gear and show kids how exercising can be fun. Tell kids about your experiences with exercise. If they don’t seem interested, talk to your spouse or friend about exercising while kids are in the room. Kids repeat what they hear and what they see. So mark down your exercise routine on the calendar where they can see it.
2. Turn the TV off and Take a Family Walk. After a long busy day, after you’ve worked all day, it’s easy to head to the couch for a relaxing night in front of the TV. Instead, pick at least one night (or more) when you do something different. After dinner, instead of cleaning the kitchen while the kids run to the family room and play electronics, take a family walk. You can even plan a surprise at the end of the walk. Our family did this in the past for announcing a special vacation. We told the kids that we had a surprise that we would tell them at the end of the walk. You can even make a game of it while you walk and give them hints so they can guess. Have fun with it!
3. Checkout your local YMCA. Contact your local Y and see if they have any special deals for kids. This year, some of our local YMCA’s are offering free 1-year memberships for kids in 7th grade. Get kids involved by spreading the word to neighbors and other parents about any special deals at local gyms. You can even bring the kids along for a tour of a nearby gym to expose them to some of the activities and equipment available. Some facilities have outdoor basketball courts and tennis courts that you and your children may be able to use for free.
4. Head to the park. On those beautiful warm spring and summer days, before you head to your local ice cream shop or water ice stand, visit a nearby park first and challenge the kids to some speed walking. Take a lap or two around the park. Remember to bring some water bottles, a frisbee, a basketball and even a kite if you like kite-flying.
5. Take a hike. Turn sight-seeing into hike-seeking. Plan a tour of your favorite city, or contact your local travel agency to sign up for a planned tour of your favorite city. While you are seeing the sights, walk to your favorite museums, monuments and landmarks.
6. Take a Walk on the Beach. Kids love amusement parks and piers at the beach; however, before you head to the pier where there are lots of tempting snacks, head to the beach for a walk along the shore line. Walking along the water is a great exercise, and on a warm sunny day, it’s a great way to keep cool. If kids get bored, remember to bring a frisbee to toss around too.
7. Buy a dance mat. Are you part of the Dance Dance Revolution, or DDR? We have two dance mats and the kids love to use them and compete with each other. I am amazed at how fast their feet can go. Kids can listen to their favorite music and dance to the beat, while getting a great workout!
8. Have a game of catch. Another favorite thing that the kids love to do is go out in the yard and have a fun game of catch with a football. For younger kids (and people like me that don’t understand all the football rules), just standing in a wide circle and passing the ball to each other is fun. Remember to praise kids for doing their best, even if they miss the ball.
9. Attend a live sports event. Take the kids to see a basketball game, or any live sports event. For fun, we recently got tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters. The kids loved it, and we loved it too. Watching live sports events exposes them to the world of sports, and may spark an interest in children. Even if you can’t attend a live sports event, watching a major sports event together, like the Olympics, will again expose them to even more varieties of sports and famous athletes.
10. Buy and use the WII Fit, Wii Fit Plus, Wii Sports or Wii Resorts. Both the Wii Fit and the Wii Fit Plus are phenomenal for exercising and getting fit. Wii Sports and Wii Resorts are great fun and loaded with activities that the whole family will love. See list of exercises and activities below. By adding the Wii Fit Balance Board to your Wii game system, along with the Wii Fit or Wii Fit plus CD, the whole family can have a great time playing games together, or doing yoga, strengthening exercises, aerobics, and more! The Wii Sports CD came bundled with my Wii system. We bought Wii Resorts earlier this year which is sort of the part 2 of Wii Sports. See list of sports and activities below.
I cannot say enough good things about this exercise system. It takes exercising to a whole new level, because it’s fun, creative and intuitive. I have never seen anything like it and I am continually amazed by all the activities and fun things to do. Below, I have listed some descriptions of each, what you need to buy, and the activities and exercises included.
To learn more about what you can you do with WII Fit, Wii Fit Plus, Wii Sports and Wii Resorts, I listed equipment, descriptions and activities included with each. Enjoy!
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© 2010 Amelia Griggs
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