Trying to keep your kids active is so difficult these days. Childhood obesity is a big problem and with kids spending more time inside looking at screens, convincing them to get outside and exercise is difficult. Getting them involved in sports is a good way to get them moving because they can have fun while they exercise. There are a lot of other great benefits as well as helping them to stay fit and healthy so you should absolutely encourage them to play sports. Things like football or swimming are great but not all kids are into those sports. It’s important that you find something that they love so exercising is a fun activity for them rather than a chore that they’re forced to do every week. If they aren’t interested in any of the sports that you’ve tried so far, why not consider some of these alternative sports for kids.
Kids seem to have a natural affinity for climbing. Whether they’re clambering on top of the kitchen counters or climbing a tree in the garden, most kids love it. That’s why rock climbing is such a great sport. People often think that the best sports are the ones that involve the most running around like team sports, but that’s not true. You actually burn a lot more calories through an exercise that engages your muscles. Rock climbing is a great sport that helps to engage almost every muscle in the body at the same time so it’s great exercise. All of the equipment that they’ll need is provided so it’s not a very expensive sport for them to get into either. Rock climbing gives kids such a great sense of achievement as well. When they first start, they’ll struggle to get to the top of that wall but each week they’ll get that little bit closer until they finally conquer it. That teaches your kids an important lesson about working hard to achieve their goals and they’ll feel such a sense of satisfaction when they do.
Archery is another sport that doesn’t seem very active but it has a lot of great health benefits. It takes quite a lot of strength to draw a bow so they’ll give their muscles a great workout. It’s also very good for developing hand-eye coordination. It’s a little more expensive to get your kids into archery because you’ll need to buy them a bow. Do a little research and find the best youth compound bow because they’ll need one that matches their size and weight if they’re going to be able to shoot properly. Some parents might be a bit worried about the potential dangers of archery but it’s actually a bonus. They’ll be practicing in a safe area with experts so they’ll actually learn a lot about safety in dangerous situations which is a great life skill to have.
Martial arts has really taken off in the last couple of years and it’s great for kids as well as adults. A lot of parents are worried about letting their kids get involved in martial arts because they think of it as a violent sport. That’s actually a big misconception and there is a lot of focus on not using the skills you learn for violence. Kids are taught that it should only be used as a last resort as a defensive measure and most of the moves are about protecting yourself rather than hurting other people. The core teachings of most martial arts are all about discipline and self-control which are great qualities to impart in your children. Martial arts is also a great confidence booster so if your child is struggling with their social skills, it could be a big help. In terms of exercise, it’s one of the best sports because it combines cardio activity with strength training.
Skateboarding has a bit of a bad reputation and a lot of people associate it with anti-social behavior but that’s just bad press. In reality, skateboarding is a great sport that has a strong sense of community about it. If you take the kids to a local skatepark, the more experienced skateboarders will always be welcoming and willing to help them learn. It’s a great way for them to meet new friends and it’s such good exercise. They’ll engage a lot of different muscle when they’re skateboarding and they’ll also improve their balance and coordination. If you’re buying your child a skateboard, don’t go for one from a toy store. They’re not very well made and they aren’t as safe as a proper one from a skate shop. It’s also important that you get them the right safety gear because skateboarding does involve quite a lot of falls, especially when they’re learning. Some parents might worry about that but the steep learning curve involved with skateboarding teaches kids the importance of determination and perseverance.
Dancing is a great exercise for kids of all ages and tastes. People don’t often realize just how much exercise you get when you’re dancing but it’s a great cardio workout. There are all sorts of different dance styles with different music so they should be able to find something that they like. As well as giving them a good workout, dance teaches kids how to follow instructions because they need to learn all of the moves. It’s also great for improving balance and coordination too. In some forms of dancing that are conducted in groups, it’s also important that they learn how to coordinate with everybody else. That really helps to improve teamwork skills which are very important for your child’s development and will really help them in later life when they start work.
Encouraging your kids to play sports is a great way to make sure that they’re getting enough exercise and it can also really help with their personal development in a lot of different ways. But every child is different and yours might not be that bothered about sports like football. If that’s the case, why not try one of these great sports instead?