When Your Child Hates Exercise, How Do You Get Them Moving?

When Your Child Hates Exercise, How Do You Get Them Moving?

When Your Child Hates Exercise, How Do You Get Them Moving? - ShapeDown

When it comes to a kid’s mental and physical health, exercise is a must. The problem is that kids these days spend an inordinate amount of time in front of screens, be they computers, TV, or mobile phone. If a kid says they don’t like sports, that could mean they haven’t tried enough different kinds of physical activity or aren’t going at it properly.

Fortunately, even if your kids don’t like exercise, you can still get them to learn physical skills if you figure out what motivates them, cultivate a supportive atmosphere, and impose reasonable boundaries for incorporating physical activity.

Start With Your Child’s Interests

Start With Your Child's Interests - ShapeDown

Start by creating a list. It would help if you had your kid develop a list of their favorite things to do so that you can design a plan for fitness fun. You can prepare your replies by playing video games or watching movies on YouTube.

Ask them to write a list of things to do if they suddenly lose access to all of their electronic devices and have no way to charge them, and see how many of them involve staring at a screen. Provide positive feedback about their selection.

Follow this up by emphasizing any potential activities, like going for a walk or shopping that could count as physical exercise. Those are some innovative ways to get them going if you want them to start moving more frequently.

Try Something New

Feel free to suggest other things if you run out of ideas. Your child may benefit much from offering to walk a neighbor’s dog if they share your passion for canines. Choose options your kid hasn’t considered, such as a family hike, rock climbing at an indoor venue, martial arts classes, or swimming.

Limit Screen Time

Limit Screen Time - ShapeDown

One to two hours per day of screen time, including TV, computer, and video game use, is the maximum recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for children of all ages. However, many young people now spend four hours or more daily in front of a screen.

It’s essential to encourage more physically engaging activities like team sports, playing tag, walking the dog, or playing hoops at the playground as options to these sedentary options.

Take away the temptation by keeping the computer and television in a common area that you can keep an eye on. Limit your adolescent’s time spent on other forms of inactivity, such as the phone or texting, by establishing rules for their use.

Go Outside

Go Outside - ShapeDown

Taking your children outside is a terrific method to introduce exercise without them even realizing it. Take them to a local park and organize games of tag, push-ups, swinging, or tree climbing.

Send your kid on a “treasure hunt” in the backyard to gather interesting objects like rocks, leaves, and sticks. Being active outside of organized sports, such as capturing fireflies in the summer, making a snowman in the spring, or raking leaves in the fall, all help youngsters.

Let Them Choose the Activity

When your child has some say in their actions, they may become more invested in it. They may view it less as a burden and more as a triumph, increasing the likelihood that they will make it a regular practice. Please don’t force them to understand complex rules, as it can make them hate it.

Emphasize Fun

Emphasize Fun - ShapeDown

Get your kid involved in a sport she likes. She is more likely to stick with it if she finds the process rewarding. Involve everyone in the household. She is spending time doing something enjoyable as a group is priceless.

Do Not Overdo Activity

Active pursuits like exercise shouldn’t cause any discomfort. Your youngster should ease up or switch to a less strenuous sport if they start to feel pain. It’s best to keep your activity levels in check, as is the case with anything else. Get in touch with a physician if your child’s exercise routine interferes with their ability to focus on schoolwork or other responsibilities.

To organize a sports get-together, have your kid call their pals and invite them over.

Having several friends around to play a game is an excellent approach to fostering a passion for a sport in children.

Determine how you may aid in making your home suitable for a pastime your kid appreciates. Where could I play soccer, if anywhere, in the area? Can we play football or baseball in your yard? How about you? Do you have any forests that you could turn into trails? Is there room in your driveway to install a basketball goal, either on the side of your house or on the ground?

Sporting events are more of a milestone when your home serves as a gathering spot for your youngster and their pals.

Explore New Places Together

Explore New Places Together - ShapeDown

The best approach to inspire a youngster to adopt a healthy lifestyle and lead an active lifestyle is to do so yourself. Begin going on weekend hikes to discover new areas. They choose low-commitment activities that can keep their attention for a few minutes.

Of course, not every kid will be a sports fanatic, but it shouldn’t stop you from trying. Even if it’s only rolling their bodies down a grassy slope, it’s good to discover an activity that your youngster would like doing.

Get Creative With What You Do

Get Creative With What You Do - ShapeDown

How you provide the opportunity to get your kids moving can make all the difference. Don’t force them to work out if they don’t want to; instead, figure out how to make it fun for each person. Set up a game of beach volleyball if they enjoy the feel of the sand on their toes. If they enjoy being in the water, consider buying them pool passes for the upcoming summer.

Exercising As A Family

Exercising As A Family - ShapeDown

There’s no denying the influence that parents have on their offspring. As a result, children will follow their parents’ lead and develop a positive attitude toward physical activity if they observe their parents enjoying themselves while working out. Furthermore, the family’s relationships are strengthened through working out together.


There is no “typical” child, and every kid has their own unique set of likes and dislikes. Respect and cooperation with these are crucial. Equally important is talking to your kid about how they feel about physical activities.

To avoid being teased or feeling like they can’t keep up with the other kids, some kids are hesitant to join in on the fun. Feeling overwhelmed is a real possibility if your adolescent is overweight and not physically active or is self-conscious about their appearance.

Jim Yi