We all know how empowering it can be to work out and feel strong. And a key part of doing that, on the reg, is loving the workouts and exercise you’re doing. For tips on how to help your kids find that love and joy, we’ve got a guest post from Kim Holmes, an online fitness coach and founder of My Fit Coach. As a mom of two young sons herself, Kim helps busy working moms care for their bodies (and minds) through online fitness, nutrition, and mindset coaching. Check out and join her free Facebook community, The Fit Mama Club, for fitness inspiration, healthy recipes, and a great community of supportive moms trying to live their healthiest life while raising kiddos here.
How to Help Your Kids Love Fitness, by Kim Holmes
We all want what’s best for our kids. We want them to grow up to be veggie-eating, physical-fitness loving adults. But sometimes the path to getting there can be a little challenging.
When it comes to fitness, it can be sometimes hard to help your child find a sport or activity that they actually love. For some parents, it may mean enrolling your child in four to five different activities before you find the right fit.
And finding the right fit for your child (and YOU for that matter) all comes down to asking a few key questions. Here are a few things to consider before you hand over all your Saturday mornings for the next 12 weeks.
What’s the ultimate goal for your child?
Lots of parents will admit they would LOVE if their child was involved in their favorite sport. But when it comes down to it, most parents really just want their kids to be physically active and be happy and healthy. And, most likely, to see the value in regular movement and activity.
So before you sign your child up for a sport, take a minute to think about what your ultimate goal is for your child and family. This will help point you in the right direction.
What’s your child’s personality type?
When choosing an activity, it’s helpful to know if your child is an extrovert or an introvert. Do they recharge by spending time with other kids? Or do they prefer to be in a quiet space doing solo activities?
Extroverted kids often love the idea of playing on a team with others. Some introverted kids may end up sitting alone on the soccer field playing with the grass or chasing butterflies, while others may flourish in an environment like this as well because they have the opportunity to interact in a structured way.
If your child shows interest, team sports like soccer, basketball, or baseball could be a great fit. For more solo sports, swimming, running, martial arts, or tennis are good options.
And the truth is, you won’t know until you try. But it’s helpful to consider before you make the leap into a long (and perhaps rather expensive) program.
What do they want to do?
Maybe you were an awesome baseball player as a kid and you want your child to continue the legacy. Only maybe your child has their eye on ballet instead …
Sometimes as parents, we have our own vision of the sports and activities we want our kids to participate in. But we have to remember our kids are little human beings with their own unique interests. Yes, even your 4-year-old has interests!
Talk to your child about a few different options for activities. See what sparks their interest. It may be ballet instead of baseball. And while that may not be your speed, if your ultimate goal is to get them moving in a way they love, give it a go.
It’s also important to add that kids can be fickle. On Monday they may be totally down to do Kung Fu, but by Friday they’re begging to try gymnastics. Be patient and remember your ultimate goal to get them moving and loving being active.
What’s the commitment like?
In addition to finding the perfect activity for your child, it’s also important that you can make it work for your family.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by your kid’s activity schedule when you also have a job and a social life of your own. So before you make the leap to join a program, take a look at your calendar.
Is it on a night that you’re free?
Is it multiple times a week?
And, are there practices or matches or tournaments on top of this?
Remember that you have a choice in your family’s activity schedule. If you want to create a positive, fun feeling around kids’ activities, it helps to keep the scheduling as stress-free as possible.
How can you be a positive role model?
And, of course, the best thing you can do to help your kids learn the value of physical activity is to show them. (Remember: It’s not about looking like an Instagram fitness model.)
Stay active with family bike rides and hikes or let your kids join you for your at-home sweat session. You’ll reap the benefits of physical fitness and you’ll be setting a great example for your kids to stay active and healthy for years to come.
How do you instill a love of fitness in your kiddos? —Kim Holmes