Kids are little bundles of energy. Their default speed is “breakneck”. They never walk when they can run, they never run when they can jump and they never jump when they can cartwheel. Of course, all this energy needs to be exerted through the day, which is why sport can be such a healthy outlet. As well as keeping them physically active, it teaches them team-building and leadership skills, social skills and the power of cooperation. Yet, while enthusiasts will tell you that there’s a sport for every child, the simple fact is that some kids just aren’t into any kind of sports. They may dread PE more than detention, and react with blind panic whenever somebody kicks or throws a ball to them.
Sport loving parents may face something of a dilemma here. In the age of video games, streaming and social media, there are more temptations than ever to keep your child’s bottom superglued to the sofa. While you don’t want them to risk the health consequences of a sedentary lifestyle, you also know that trying to force a square peg into a round hole can be ruinous for your child’s development and self-confidence.
The good news, however, is that there are lots of ways in which sport-averse youngsters can stay active. Here, we’ll look at some fun and active pursuits that kids can enjoy at any age…
We human beings have been telling stories through dance since long before we ever wrote them down. Dance is a fantastic way to engage with different cultures and experience the joy of movement. It’s also a great full-body workout. And with so many styles of dance out there, every boy and every girl can find a style of dance that they find enjoyable. Moreover, children’s dance classes can help kids with their social development and help to build confidence as they grow in their ability and get more comfortable performing in front of audiences. If your son or daughter isn’t too fond of sport, dance can be a great way to get them up and moving- and they can practice anywhere at any time.
Some parents are worried about their children learning martial arts. They worry that they might get injured while training or, worse still, that they’ll go to school the next day all-too eager to try out what they’ve learned on other kids in their classes. Yet, while it’s true that martial arts and boxing can give children the means to defend themselves, they also have a strong focus on discipline and character development. Sparring is kept to a minimum when children are young and is always practiced in a safe way so risk of injury is minimal.
As children grow stronger and more adept in their technique, they also grow in confidence, so they’re less likely to get into rough-and-tumble situations. If you’re worried about injury in training, you may want to prescribe some of the grappling arts such as wrestling, judo, ju-jitsu or MMA.
For some children, sport, games and PE feel like an unwelcome chore. They’re done because they have to be, not because they’re enjoyable. Swimming, on the other hand, is an event. It’s something that has much more fun connotations than most sports. Moreover, it’s an activity that the whole family can enjoy together.
Furthermore, swimming is a fantastic workout for the whole body, building strength in the core, legs, arms, chest and shoulders and burning hundreds of calories.
An active lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean charging around after a ball or even working up that much of a sweat. Anything that elevates the heart rate and gets kids slightly out of breath is considered a healthy pursuit as long as it’s practiced consistently.
As such, encouraging kids to do more walking is a great way to keep them in shape while also ensuring that they have a good understanding of the wonderful nooks and crannies on your doorstep. Whether walking the dog, or just for the fun of it, a good long walk can be a great way for kids to relax and unwind while still staying active.