It’s no secret, people are getting less active these days. Did you know that only one in three American children get physical activity on a daily basis? Or that only 5% of the US population participates in more than 30 hours of physical activity each day?
Unless they’re born athletes, getting teenagers to be active can go from difficult at best, to impossible at worst. And with the fact that family connections tend to erode during that time, getting a teenager to even listen to you, let alone get them to actually do something, makes things even more difficult. But there are tons of things that you can do to not only encourage your teenager to be more active, but to actually enjoy it. Here are a few of them.
Reconnect with Them
Make sure that you don’t only speak to your child when you want to reprimand them or talk about their weight. You’ll have to find a way to reconnect with them first if there’s a distance between the two of you.
Find a way to build bonds by engaging in more activities together. These don’t even have to be physical either. This could be going for a dinner somewhere you know they like, or going to watch a movie or a show. You’ll have a chance to catch up on where they are as far as school goes, if they have concerns about anything, or plans they might have for the future. Only when you have this connection will any of your recommendations will hold any weight.
Remind them of the Benefits of Being Healthy
If the situation is getting critical, and you’re noticing that it’s beginning to have an effect on their mood and social life, try to sell them on the benefits of being healthy. If you notice that they’re getting self-conscious about their body, show them how they could get to their goal in a practical way. You have to make the goal attainable so they could actually see themselves going through the routine.
Enroll them in Competition Sports
Most teenagers have at least one sport that they actually like or follow. For some it’s tennis, for others it might be figure skating or football. Ask them how they would feel about practicing any sport at a competitive level. Not only do sports make physical activity fun, but they could see a potential career path in it. This will give them even more incentives to be active.
Find a Cool Hobby
Hobbies are another great way to get physical activity while doing something you like. Maybe you could get them to do some home renovations or additions with you around the house? They could learn woodworking, or even take on a cool sport like surfing for instance.
You could sweeten things up with equipment as well. Getting something like a Rungo off-road eBike could encourage them to at least go to the beach and get some fresh air. Rungo’s ebikes are made in the USA and are made to handle all sorts of terrain, so this could be a great way to get them to get out and about.
Play “Real Life” Video Games
Another thing you could do is find an activity that will allow them to transition naturally from video games. For instance, paintball is not only loads of fun, but it can be very physically demanding and appeals to most gamers. One day of paintball could easily be enough physical activity for a whole week. And the best part is that they’ll barely notice it because of all the fun they had.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to find a way to get your teenage child to incorporate at least some level of physical activity into their lives. No matter what, however, always make sure that you’re supportive, and don’t forget to lead by example as well.