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The Importance of Fun in Physical Activity

With obesity on the rise and children spending far more time indoors than out, physical education is a popular topic. Study after study has shown the importance of physical activity for improving cognitive, social, and physical functionality.  Through endless studies and research, the importance of physical activity is clear, but that doesn’t solve the problem of how to make kids and adults alike want to do it. The sore muscles, the burning in your lungs, and the hazardous nature of physical activity could deter anyone from wanting to participate. That’s why it is so important to make exercise fun.

Entertaining Physical Activity Generates Life-Long Habits

TheImportanceofFuninPEforFunkyMoves64-1 One of the top reasons people hate to exercise is because of the pain and soreness it can cause them. This prevents them from having the desire to exercise, thus preventing an exercising habit. However, if the activity is fun, they will think of exercise positively and forget about the potential sore muscles. With the proper motivation, anyone would want to continue the habit for the rest of their lives, and enjoyable physical activity is the catalyst for that motivation.

Positive Role Models Help Kids to Enjoy Exercise

 Getting kids to enjoy exercise can be as easy as their parent picking up a Frisbee. If parents want their children to enjoy physical activities, one of the best things they can do is play with them. When children see older children, teens, young adults, and adults engaging in physical activity, they are more inclined to join in. Children, especially tweens and teens, want to be more mature, and engaging in active play with those older than them gives them the gratification they seek. This instills good habits and desires within them to be more physically active for the rest of their lives.

Ideas to Promote Fun in Physical Education

  •  Create goals for children and offer prizes or other incentives if they meet them.
  • Instead of running laps, have children do dance moves to music.

  • Make running a game. Turn it into a relay race, or include balls and other toys to make it more interesting.

  • Use technology to enhance play. For high-technology, consider using gaming devices such as the Wii Fit or Xbox Kinect. There are also low-technology items that may be more practical for your school, such as light-up steps and other products.

  • Make exercise a social activity. Bring a group of kids together to play.

 Getting kids to enjoy physical activity can be a challenge, but once they do, they are in for a lifetime of healthy habits and fun. With implementation of fun physical education, children will be able to experience all of the benefits of exercise.