How to encourage kids to exercise more

How to encourage kids to exercise. Close up image of boy kicking soccer ball on field.

How to encourage kids to exercise more

Thanks to COVID-19 we’ve all done our best to stay indoors as much as possible.

But now as we slowly enter back into a normal lifestyle, it’s the perfect time to start making changes for the better.

Since the start of 2020, it can be expected that kids across Australia have spent a lot of their spare time indoors playing on their iPads and Xbox’s.

So, how do we encourage kids to exercise instead of sitting indoors glued to their iPads?

First, we need to understand why exercise is so important and what are some of the best ways for parents to encourage kids to take up a more active lifestyle. 


Physical benefits

It should be common knowledge that there are so many benefits of physical activity for kids.

Our bodies are naturally designed to move, walk, stand, run, jump and everything in between. 

Without regular exercise, our body’s natural functions are limited and we put our kids at the potential risk of ongoing physical health problems such as: 

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity


Exercise is key for helping children form healthy bodies.

Just some of the benefits of physical activity for kids include:

  • Achieving/maintaining a healthy weight
  • Developing muscles properly
  • Cultivating healthy lung and heart functions
  • Helping to form strong and healthy bones


Aside from the physical benefits, there are a number of benefits of physical activity on mental health.


Mental / Emotional benefits

Physical activity can be thought of as the prescription-less antidote to a range of mental and emotional problems experienced by all humans.

Serotonin and endorphins are nicknamed the ‘happy hormones’ for a good reason.

These happy hormones help to regulate moods and help us feel positive feelings like happiness and love and hence hugely contribute to our mental health.

Some of the benefits of physical activity on mental health for kids and adults include:

  • Reduction of depression and anxiety symptoms 
  • Boosts in self-esteem and positive body image reflections
  • Naturally enhanced energy levels
  • Improved concentration and alertness


As a parent, you can provide your kids with the foundation of healthy mental wellbeing by simply encouraging them to exercise regularly.


Tips to help encourage kids to take up regular physical activity

Encouraging kids to take up physical activity can be easier said than done.

That’s why we’ve gathered five tips to help you incentivise a healthy change for your kids.

  1. Be a role model and find ways to exercise regularly as a family
  2. Encourage your kids to take up the sports their friends or siblings play
  3. Make exercise fun rather than a punishment
  4. Support participation in physical activity with a bike for Christmas rather than an Xbox
  5. Give plenty of encouragement and praise


How we incorporate physical activity in our Junior Leader Program

At Veteran Mentors, our Junior Leader Program is specifically designed to teach kids respect, courage, teamwork, resilience, honesty and initiative.

We do so by teaching kids critical life skills through mental and physical challenges that ultimately create a roadmap for life.

Encourage positive changes in your kids’ lives and provide them with the foundations of a healthy physique and mental wellbeing with regular exercise.


If you liked this article, you might also like how to get kids to eat healthy foods.

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