Skip to main content
4 Tips to Help Kids Find Love of Exercise

4 Tips to Help Kids Find a Love for Exercise

by Rebecca Pudvah PT, DPT, CSCS, OCSLeave a Comment

Does your child have an affinity for the couch, computer, or tablet? Do you struggle to get your child to engage in sports, outdoor play, or physical activity? Here are some top tips to help foster a love for exercise in your children:

1. Expose their Passion

Not every child’s dream is to become a professional athlete, an astronaut, or hike Mount Everest, but every child has a passion or area of interest. Explore your child’s interests and work together to make moving fun. Typical sedentary tasks can often be performed standing, seated on a theraball, or even be adapted to perform sit-to-stand repetitions between taking turns.

2. Art and Media Can be Active

  • Does your child like painting? Take a hike and find some cool rocks to paint.
  • Does your child like to make jewelry? Take a walk at a local park or beach and find some seashells, rocks, or neat leaves/pinecones to decorate.
  • Does your child like to read? Take a walk to the local library to find some books or use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Does your child like to role play? Act as a frog, dinosaur, or penguin through the living room to burn off some energy.
  • Does your child like board games? Try games like Feed the Woozle or Floor is Lava to get them up and to move.
  • Does your child like watching TV/Movies? Have them create their own scene/movie and have them play the roles of the characters.

Nearly all types of play can be made active; just be sure to keep the focus of the task on the fun, and the mobility will follow.

3. Make it Social

If your child is a social butterfly, make it a group activity. Group sports are a great way to get out with other families, but also, a quick trip to the park or backyard can inspire creative play in a more “challenging” physical environment. There are also a variety of yard games that can be adapted to your child’s interest; whether it is spaceships, princesses, or fantasy themes, you can turn a game of “red light green light” or “Tag” into their personalized dream world.

4. Water Play

Whether it is a bathtub, swimming pool, splash pad, or garden sprinkler, there are many ways to inspire mobility for your child. Spraying some shaving cream on the side of the bathtub can provide a toddler with hours of entertainment and will have them squatting/standing without even knowing they are exercising. For older children, moving through the sprinkler or chasing the waves can help with strength, balance, and body control.

Fun is the Key to Inspiring Kids to Remain Fit and Active

Your child may not remember that they ran for 30 minutes, did 30 squats, or climbed 30 rungs on the swing set, but they will remember the smiles, fun times, and challenges they accomplished. The key to inspiring your child to remain fit and active is to make it a desirable, memorable, and fun activity; if it is not fun, why do it?

If you would like to learn more about how a physical therapist can support your child and help them lead a healthy, active life, reach out to your nearest Athletico. Appointments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth platform.

Request an Appointment

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author:
Rebecca Pudvah is a triathlete and physical therapist who loves helping others achieve their fitness goals. Rebecca graduated from Simmons College in Boston, MA, with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She is an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. For her undergraduate studies, she attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology while competing in Division 1 Cross Country and Track and Field. Rebecca loves sharing her knowledge and personal experiences to help those in need through challenging and painful times. She is passionate about guiding her patients toward a healthy, active, and pain-free human experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *