How to motivate children, ages 10-12, to exercise

Kids are not too different from adults when it comes to physical activity. Yet the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) reports that about 50% of boys and slightly fewer than 34% of girls are sufficiently fit. When children are unfit, they are exposed to the dangers of cardiovascular and chronic diseases and are prone to psychological disorders. Parents who encourage their children to exercise on a daily basis can help their kids to keep weight and weight related problems under check and help avert numerous diseases such as cancer. 

Exercises for Older School Age Kids 

Older school-going children have usually gained basic proficiency and are more coordinated. This means that they can do things better and with accuracy. If a kid is interested in basketball for example, they will not throw the ball aimlessly but will try to shoot and get the ball to go through the hoop. Older kids can also understand rules better. Regardless of the exercises the kids engage in, it is important that they enjoy them and are not frustrated for any reason. If your children are not enjoying the activities at hand, it’s a good idea to change things up and find activities that you and your family can all engage in without any form of difficulties. Give the options to choose from and you can let your child inform you as to which activities they would like to try as well. This will help to achieve a smooth transition without making the child feel like they have failed. You do not want negative feelings about exercising to deter the child from engaging in workouts. 

Help Kids Discover What They Can Do

For some kids, it might be beneficial to put into consideration their interests, their talents and capabilities, and their body types in order to find the right type of exercise for them. Some kids have a mild temperament and it could be a challenge getting them involved in certain exercises. Parents must be willing to consider what a kid will be more successful at and what might be too intensive. It helps if parents can help the child discover what they like best and then incorporate this in their routine. Some children are non-athletic and are averse to any form of physical activities. Finding what these such kids are able to comfortably engage in will help them become involved in exercising. Kids ages 10 to 12 are a bit more sensitive to what they can or cannot get engaged in. 

Make Competition a Motivator

At ages 10 to 12, kids are also very competitive and this can be used as a motivating factor. While it might not be a good idea to get the kids to compete against each other, parents can make it a friendly contest between them and their children. Kids at the age of 10 to 12 will always be highly motivated to exercise if they know that they will be beating their parents. They will be much more motivated if they know that they will be rewarded if they defeat their parents. As a result, it will be encouraging if parents can use a rewards system to motivate them to exercise. One way to help kids at this age is to give them gifts that encourage them to engage in physical activities. A good example would be a bicycle, soccer balls or ice skates. Parents can also give kids video games that promote exercising. These video games can help kids continue physical activities that promote fitness. A good example is Zumba Fitness World Party and Gold Gym Dance. As long as parents can find age appropriate video games that encourage physical fitness, kids will take an interest in fitness. 

Provide Kids with Healthier Options 

At age 10 to 12, kids may no longer be interested in the structured atmosphere of systematized sporting or fitness activities. They will probably want to work with different exercises such as strength or muscle building. Nonetheless, this should not be encouraged before they get to puberty because lifting heavy weights requires a certain age set. Parents can encourage kids to work with stretchy tubes and bands. They can also engage in squats and pushups so that their bodies are strengthened without exposure to the dangers that weights might pose to their bones and joints. It is important to know that kids have a higher risk factor of getting injured when they are experiencing growth spurts which generally occur in early teenage years. Should they lift excess weights or work with the wrong exercise when running or throwing, the injuries they sustain might be quite substantial. 

When kids remain active at any age, the activity enhances general health. The development of a healthy foundation is essential to raising children to healthy adults. While most kids are active by nature, they need encouragement and direction in order for them to develop habits that will become deep rooted. Nonetheless, it is essential that kids take part in fitness activities that are appropriate for their age as well as their stage of development. Parents must continue to motivate their children to achieve that.

Evelyn Murtis Bio