Getting a child to exercise can seem like a daunting task, but we know there's a lot to gain from regular physical activity, so we continue to encourage it. What are the best ways to get your child to workout?
Choose an Age-Appropriate Activity
Choose the right activities for a child's age: If you don't, the child may be bored or frustrated. Your child may not want to do a traditional workout, so you may want to choose an activity over a workout. When kids enjoy an activity, they want to do more of it. Practicing a skill — whether it's swimming or riding a tricycle or martial arts — improves their abilities and helps them feel accomplished, especially when the effort is noticed and praised. These good feelings often make kids want to continue the activity and even try others.
Give the Opportunity to Be Active
Kids need parents to make activity easy by providing equipment and taking them to classes and other active spots. We encourage our students to show up to classes at least twice a week to get enough classes and time in to get a higher-rank belt, as well as feel comfortable with the skills they're learning. This also gives kids a great opportunity to be active for at least 30 minutes during that time.
Keep it Fun
Keeping the focus on fun: Kids won't do something they don't enjoy. Check in with your child, and make sure they're having fun. If they're not, find out why, and see if you can do something to help them want to get back to their activity. It may be something small that can be changed easily.
I have been involved with teaching martial arts to children for more than 40 years. Over those years I had the opportunity to teach thousands for kids and help other martial artists develop programs to inspire kids to train, develop positive beliefs, gain confidence and self esteem. I don't know of another sport or art that does these things as effective as martial arts. Classes are fun, kids get positive encouragement, learn to over come challenges, learn sportsmanship and goal setting. If you are looking for an activity with a purpose contact a martial arts school that specializes in kids classes. You and your child will be glad you did.
To learn more about the classes we offer at East Mesa Karate, call us at 480-986-7177 or fill out our online form.
Author of The Silva Solution: Building Black Belts from the Inside Out
President of Black Belt Schools International