Encouraging Activity in Children

Habits form early, so if you want your children to lead healthy and active lifestyles, you need to instil this in them from an early age. Many parents wrongly think that getting kids into sport means becoming a pushy parent. It’s important to remember though that our goal should be encouraging a healthy lifestyle and outlook, not to create future Olympic athletes. Providing children with information about and access to physical activity and good nutrition is the key to success. Children will follow your example, so think about your own habits too. Remember to encourage enthusiasm and talent as it emerges, not to force a child into an activity because you were good at it. Here are some handy tips:


Getting active can come in a huge variety of different ways, you don’t have to fork out for expensive sporting lessons just yet. Starting exercise can be as simple as a walk in the woods looking for bugs or sticks, jumping in puddles or a short bike ride around the nearest park. If you think you don’t have time, remember that activity and play can be from as little as 10 mins per day. Start small and you can increase activity levels over time. Get off the bus a stop early so you can play ‘I Spy’. These are simple actions to increase activity and make it fun at the same time.

Using local facilities

Explore what’s available close to home. You might even find that local schools offer facilities at the weekends for rent. Perhaps your local leisure centre runs sessions of activity for children outside of school hours. There are many facilities that aren’t reaching their full use and as a community, something could be done to change that. Seek help and advice online too. There’s a wealth of information to be found, like Sport Drill Videos from

Be a champion of active living

If you take an interest in health and active living, it will rub off on your children. Be that champion at home and make sure there is someone who meets that description in your child’s school as well. Schools that have a special PE Co-ordinator to engage all children in different and fun activities is far more likely to produce young people with a healthier and more active outlook on life.

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When you child is active, it’s important to praise and encourage that activity. This increases their self-esteem and make them want to continue being active. Here are some useful tips for motivating:

Make activity and sport fun. Children will enjoy being active far more if it’s energetic, fun and happy.

Be confident and self-assured in what you’re doing.

Keep smiling and have a laugh. Sport and exercise must be enjoyable.

Keep up with positive words and body language. You are their role model. Be encouraging, upbeat, cool and offer genuine praise.

Be sincere and show that you really care about their health and activity levels. Children are very smart and can spot insincerity a mile off!


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