How to inspire children to move at the early age of life.

Many parents and caregivers want to instil in their children a lifetime love of movement and physical exercise. Unfortunately, only around 24% of American children aged 6 to 17 obtain the recommended amount of 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

What's the good news? When youngsters establish a love for something as simple as movement at a young age, it generally lasts a lifetime. You must lay the groundwork for a lifetime appreciation for movement in your child's early years if you want them to get adequate exercise as they become older. 

Read on to understand how to instil a love of exercise in early children, receive suggestions for motivating them to move and enjoy it, and learn why physically active children grow up to be physically active people.

The desire to move begins at home. The foundation you lay with your children while they are young is essential to their entire health.

When it comes to a variety of lifestyle behaviours, including physical activity and fitness habits, children copy the conduct of their parents and other significant role models in their lives.

When a youngster sees a parent or role model engaging in good physical exercise, he or she is more likely to adopt similar habits for themselves. A youngster who sees their caregiver sit on the sofa for lengthy periods of time and participate in sedentary habits is more likely to regard these behaviours as normal.

Children who experienced their parents participating in sports and fitness activities are more inclined to do so themselves – this is especially true today that young children's screen time is growing and physical activity is declining. Healthy habits established early in life will stick with them as they grow older.

The key to instilling a lifelong love of exercise in children is to keep the emphasis on having fun. Kids, like adults, are less likely to get enthralled by something they do not appreciate. Plus, if they're having a good time, they'll want to do it again, giving them more opportunities to practise skills and enhance their talents. Every child is different, and some children are more drawn to exercise and physical activity than others.

That's why it's critical to identify activities that your child loves and adapt them to encourage them to exercise more. "Exercise should not seem like a work for children, especially young children."

As your child grows older and becomes increasingly active in organised activities, remember that while some children enjoy structured sports and competition, others do not. Maintain a wide definition of movement that includes family walks, living room dancing, tree climbing, yoga, and any other activities they like. When children are engaged in movement and physical activity at an early age, they are more likely to get all of the advantages sooner, and their enthusiasm for exercise will likely expand as they develop.

Movement and exercise should not be a hassle. Parents and caregivers should retain the focus on having fun and encouraging children to engage in activities that they like.

Tips on how to get started with exercise at home

Make sure the activity is appropriate for the child's age.

Asking a 4-year-old to play badminton with the family may not be the ideal strategy to increase activity. Lowering the net and providing children with a preschool-sized racket and a huge ball, on the other hand, boosts their success and increases their enjoyment.

Concentrate on motor skills.

Gross motor skills development is crucial for children, particularly preschoolers. These abilities aid balance, strength, coordination, and response time in children. Keep activities oriented around kicking or tossing a ball, jumping, climbing, obstacle courses, or riding a tricycle or bike with training wheels if you have toddlers or preschool-aged children.

When they're riding bikes, make sure they're wearing helmets and other protective gear, and keep an eye on them when they're climbing or using moving toys or equipment.

Make sure there are active toys available.

Include objects that need vigorous play, such as balls for young children and bikes and scooters for older children, when selecting indoor and outdoor toys. Climbing toys are great for toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged kids; just make sure they're appropriate for their age. At home, aim for more active toys than passive ones. Have your child contribute a passive toy in exchange for a new active toy when they ask for one. This encourages them to move more and teaches them that less is more.

Encourage unstructured play.

Children learn about themselves and their surroundings via free play. It's also a great opportunity to get some workout done. Throughout the day, make sure to incorporate many free-play chances. Encourage your kid to spend 30 minutes outside creating an obstacle course or treasure hunt, riding a bike or scooter, or playing with balls and other outdoor toys to keep the play lively.

Engage in physical activity with your children.

It is not always effective to tell children of any age to "get some exercise." However, if you engage in physical activity with your children, they are more likely to want to join in. Additionally, for working parents who want to exercise but find it difficult to be away from their children outside of the workday, this can be a time saving.

Make a timetable for your activities.

A weekly physical exercise regimen with goals is recommended by Woodall-Ruff. This is something you should do as a group and put somewhere public. Decide on a non-food incentive with your child when they achieve that objective.

Let's talk about health and fitness.

If you want your children to enjoy movement, you must first educate them what it means. Look for ways to instil a healthy exercise culture in your home. Discuss how essential your exercises, sports, and activities are in your life. Discuss food and how it fuels activity at the dinner table.

Turn your tasks into a workout.

Chores combined with active contests accomplishes two goals: your youngster completes a housekeeping duty while also getting some exercise. If you have more than one child, make housework a competition that includes physical activity. Toddlers and preschoolers, for example, might compete to see who can put their clothes into the basket the quickest. Make tidying up the yard or weeding the garden a competition outside. Each youngster (and adult) should pick up an area of the yard. The first person to cross the finish line wins.

Allow them to select the activity.

Even small children are aware of their preferences, and they love it when you inquire about it. Allow your child to select a few hobbies or sports that he or she enjoys, and then participate in them together as a family.

Make them read a tale that is inspired by a movement.

Enroll in a preschool that focuses on activities.

Look for facilities that make movement and exercise a big part of the day if you require daycare or want to send your child to preschool.

Consider participating in a team sport.

Age brackets adapt group sports like soccer and tee-ball to a child's age and ability, allowing them to develop new abilities while learning about competition.


Getting your children active, especially at a young age, is one of the finest things you can do for their health. This will not only help children thrive in school and stay healthy during their school years, but it will also help them develop a lifelong love of exercise. Children who are physically active from an early age maintain healthy habits as adults and are more likely to exercise regularly. Physically active children are more likely to grow up to be active adults who lead healthier lifestyles.

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