When bringing a child into the world, it’s your responsibility as the parent to ensure they’re healthy, happy, and well looked after. Once your child hits their teen years, the importance of keeping fit and active is especially important for their development and wellbeing. However, you’ll find that lots of teens prefer to sit on their smartphones all day scrolling through TikTok, rather than doing exercise.
If you’re struggling to peel your teen off the couch, here are some great ways to encourage them to be more active.
Reiterate the Value of Regular Exercise
The best thing you can do in terms of getting your teen to exercise is to teach them the importance of physical activity and what it can do for their mind and body. While your teen may not care so much about lowering their risk of heart disease or cholesterol levels, the social benefits exercise brings will motivate them more. There can be a fine line between giving information and lecturing your teen, so try and be upbeat and enthusiastic about exercise, otherwise they may not listen and feel you’re being a nuisance!
While technology is a blessing in many ways, you’ll know only too well that, if teens had their way, they would stay on their smartphones and tablets 24/7. If you believe your teen is spending too many hours behind a screen, it’s time to eliminate such distractions. For the time being, it may be worth keeping hold of their digital devices and only letting them have screen time once they’ve done some exercise. Whether that involves going for a run around the neighborhood, or doing a workout from home, your teen will thank you for it later.
Make Things Fun
Some teens enjoy all things exercise, while others see physical activity as a chore. Even if you manage to get your teen exercising, committing to it long-term is a whole other story. To keep your teen interested, injecting some fun into proceedings is key. There are lots of fun things you can do to ensure your teen gets their hour of exercise in each day, such as dancing to music, swimming in the sea, or hiking to a gorgeous location. You will need to sit down with your teen and discuss the sports and activities they enjoy doing, otherwise they may lose momentum quickly. If your teen enjoys sports like baseball as one example, it can be a good idea to take them out on a fun shopping trip for any equipment they might need. Bringing them along also means you won’t make the mistake of buying the wrong size or type; for instance, their bat needs to be the right size and feel.
Lead By Example
Getting your teen outdoors and exercising can feel like an impossible task. If you’re having great difficulty doing this, it may be time to lead by example and visually show them the benefits of exercising. Believe it or not, many teens look up to their parents as role models (even if they don’t show it!), so getting some regular exercise in will not only give you a ton of health benefits, but it’ll motivate your teen to follow suit.
Practice Regular Encouragement
Once your teen starts their exercise journey, it’s your job to encourage them to keep going. Positive words can make all the difference and keep them committed to staying active, so cheering them on and showing how proud you are of them is important. To begin with, you may want to give incentives like extra pocket money that will give your teen something to work towards.
If you’re going stir crazy watching your teen lounge around the house all day, all they may need is a little push in the right direction to start leading a healthier lifestyle. There are tons of sports and activities the whole family can join in on which will benefit you all and ensure your teen is getting the right amount of exercise.