Your Kids Don’t Like Sports? No Problem!

Not every child yearns to join the neighborhood Little League or soccer team. And even though you may see your dreams of sitting in the bleachers, cheering your child on while they hit a home run or score a goal drifting away, it’s not a good idea to push your kids into playing sports if it’s just not their thing. But don’t give up hope! There are lots of other ways to get your kids up and moving and you can play an important role in making that happen.

A study in the American Journal of Public Health found that kids are 400 – 500% more likely to engage in active play if they have an appealing place to play in and are supervised by adults. You see? They do still need you after all! Consider this a wonderful opportunity to spend some quality time with your family while getting the exercise that’s essential to your whole family’s health and well-being.

Keep Them Guessing

Adults 18 and over should do some form of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Children should be engaging in even more physical activity- at least 60 minutes a day, five days a week. This is where you come in. And the key to getting your kids to exercise is to keep them guessing, which means keep changing things around on them and don’t do the same thing too many times in a row. (This is different, of course, for younger children. Toddlers are perfectly happy dancing to the Hokey Pokey over and over and over…)

You might want to start by asking your kids what they do like to do. We’ve already established that they don’t like sports, but there’s got to be something they like to do. Find out what they enjoy and go with it. In the summer, you can enroll them in swimming classes at your local public pool or health club. Many college campuses also offer children’s swim classes, sometimes year-round. Studying a martial art, like tae kwon do, is a great way for kids to work on assertiveness and safety, while getting fit. Maybe your child has a gift for clowning around. Ask your child if they’d like to go to clown school. Many gymnasiums that offer gymnastics and trapeze classes also offer clown classes, which usually involve juggling, tumbling and acrobatics.

There are even lots of options for exercise at home. Throwing a Frisbee around, if you’ve got a back yard, is a great way to get some exercise. Break out the aerobics videos or find some other fitness videos that the boys may find more appealing. And when in doubt, try putting on some music, turning up the volume, and dancing until you drop. Don’t be afraid to be silly and don’t forget to have fun!

A Little Inspiration Goes a Long Way

Just because your kids don’t like playing sports, it doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t like watching sporting events. Try taking them to a game, match or competition. It might just inspire them to try it themselves.

Pick out a few books or magazines dedicated to sports you think your child might really like and read them together. Maybe there’s an outdoor activity magazine that might appeal to them. A surprise gift subscription might prove very rewarding if it inspires your child to get up and go check out the world beyond their room and TV.

Top 10 Tips to Keep Them Moving

  • Take a walk together with a special destination in mind. Walk to the park for a picnic, walk across town to the movies, or maybe take a hike out to a lake or pool for a swim.
  • Don’t forget to pack healthy, yummy snacks and water for your outing. Some fresh or dried fruit, a couple bottles of water, maybe a few cheese sticks- you’re good to go!
  • If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with bike paths or smaller roads, try going on a bicycle-powered adventure. Lots of bike stores rent bikes as well, so if you’re bikeless, don’t give up! Try one for a day and see how you like it.
  • Stairs are your friend. Hold a stair-climbing competition with your kids and see who can climb the fastest and who can climb the longest.
  • Create your own at-home triathlon. Come up with three physical activities to do around the house and award prizes to those who accomplish them all in record time. Then see who can break those records.
  • Visit an arcade but avoid the video games, instead, challenge your kids to a marathon of air hockey, skeeball and pool. See who winds up with the best combined score.
  • Spend some time on the miniature golf course.
  • In the summer, try swimming in a pool. If your kids don’t like doing laps try some fun pool games. If they don’t enjoy being in the water give gardening a try.
  • In the winter, try sledding, ice-skating and of course, a vigorous snowball fight.
  • When in doubt, add a few friends to the mix.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this article or blog are strictly those of the author. The contents of this article or blog and any reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service whether by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by ISI Brands and ISI Brands assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product, service or process disclosed or referenced herein. All information is provided on an as-is basis and is provide for information purposes only. Always consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.