7 Ways to Raise Kids Who Love to Exercise

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Bring health into your conversations
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Bring health into your conversations

Young children don't really recognize the benefits of regular exercise first hand. It’s up to parents to provide a bit more perspective. “Kids can’t see the benefit — most kids are healthy because they’re young. They don’t have aches and pains, they don’t have to worry about the things adults do, so they don’t understand the benefit of exercise,” Saunders says. “At the dinner table, talk about exercise and how it has helped you — it helps you become smarter, happier, and less stressed.” Reinforce the exercise your kids do enjoy with praise. “Telling them they did a great job, high fives, all those things can be meaningful and powerful for kids, making them feel confident and seeing themselves as competent,” says Hatfield. “Those sorts of self-perceptions are critical in terms of building motivation and sustaining active lifestyles.”

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