Some kids just hate sports. Whether it's a lack of natural acumen or the fear of being picked last for a team, children may have a wide variety of reasons to shy away from athletics. Exercise is important, but pushing your kids into something they hate may do more harm than good.
Instead, look for activities that keep your kids moving without forcing them to join a team or play a sport they want no part of. Doing so will encourage a healthy lifestyle now and in the future. There are several physical activities that even the least athletic kids may enjoy.
For safety reasons, it's a good idea to teach all children how to swim. Lessons from a swim instructor are a great way to keep your kids safe around the water and get them moving. Most kids love going to the pool and see it as fun rather than a sporting activity. Even if they're not swimming laps, any time spent playing and splashing in the pool counts as physical activity.
While not the best choice for children who lack coordination, some kids can't get enough of skateboarding, roller skating and ice skating. None of these activities require a team or organized sporting events, so kids who like to go solo can do so. More social children, however, can hang out with friends at the skate park or skating rink.
Walking isn't very demanding, but kids who are walking are moving. Take your kids on family walks around your neighborhood, in the park, or around a local mall. If they easily keep pace with you, add some family hikes to the mix.
Start with easy, flat trails and slowly work your way up to more hilly terrain. The American Heart Association recommends walking 10,000 steps a day to improve health. You can also sneak in more walking with your kids by parking farther away from your destination and taking the stairs rather than elevators or escalators.
Riding a bike is an excellent form of exercise. It's also a great way for older kids to gain some independence by riding to the corner store or to a friend's house. Like skating, cycling can be a solo or group sport, making it a good choice for social butterflies and quieter kids alike.
Bikeriding, like swimming, is a physical activity that most kids don't put under the sports umbrella. This makes non-athletic kids more likely to willingly take on the sport.
Soothing and relaxing, yoga keeps kids moving and helps them focus their mind and energy. Yoga is completely non-competitive and provides strength training based on individual comfort levels and limits.
Yoga classes are available at many gyms and fitness centers. Once you've learned a few yoga poses, you can practice them anywhere, from the privacy of your bedroom to a serene outdoor setting. This means kids can practice yoga anywhere they feel comfortable and anytime, since no special equipment is necessary.
There is a plethora of other physical activities that may also interest your child, including rock climbing, horseback riding, dancing and golf. You can even take small children to a local playground to encourage running and climbing. It doesn't matter what activity your child participates in, so long as he or she is on the move.
Encourage your child to try a wide variety of activities while assuring them they won't be forced to stick with any they don't like. With a little trial and error, you're sure to find a form of exercise that you and your family enjoy, even if you don't turn your kids into athletic superstars.
About the author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. If you are looking for a swim instructor, Anica suggests you check out the services of Swim Jim.