Every mum can tell you: kids seem to have a boundless reservoir of energy. From the moment they’re up (most often at the crack of dawn), until they go to bed at night, they hardly ever stop moving. Instead of trying to match their enthusiasm, or attempting fruitlessly to make them sit still, a lot of parents find that what really helps is channeling that energy constructively. Children who take up sports regularly get the much-needed physical exercise and learn from a young age about healthy lifestyles. However, deciding what particular sport would be the best match for your kid takes careful consideration. You need to take into account the child’s personality, level of competitiveness, physical agility and interests. Here is a short guide to some of the most popular choices.
Parents living in the city often worry that their little ones don’t have enough contact with nature. Horseback riding is a brilliant way to introduce your kids not only to sports, but also the natural world. It is a great activity that will give your kid the chance to spend more time outdoors. This activity develops empathy, responsibility, and overall emotional intelligence while at the same time having a soothing effect. Children love building a connection with such a majestic animal, and learning to ride does wonders for their confidence. When it comes to physical benefits, it strengthens coordination, builds muscles, and improves the sense of balance.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking of soccer as exclusively a boys’ activity. The sense of sheer fun and joy that comes from playing it is universal, and many girls love putting on their soccer gear and running out on the field. As one of the most popular team sports, soccer is a brilliant way to develop communication and team spirit in kids. The rules are not overly complicated, nor is it difficult to play – there is no risk of your kid feeling down because he or she isn’t any good at it. As long as they love running and give it their best, they will do great. Plus, they can always pick up a football and play with their friends even outside of training sessions.
If your flexible tot loves climbing everywhere and jumping from impossible places – look no further. Gymnastics is brilliant for posture, muscles and flexibility – it is a well-rounded sport that requires high levels of overall fitness and stamina. While it is an individual sport, gymnastics still requires a lot of flair. Just think of the showmanship of such greats as Nadia Comaneci, or Simone Biles. If you have a tiny show-off who loves being the centre of attention, this might just be the right pick for you. A great aspect of gymnastics is that it instills kids with a sense of discipline. It’s also a choice that won’t cost you much.
A lot of parents shy away from martial arts, thinking their kids could get hurt, or that it will fuel aggression. Both of these fears are completely unfounded. In fact, martial arts, while requiring high levels of physical exertion, are an excellent pick for kids who take great pride in their success. While technically, every martial art is practiced against an opponent, the true goal is to surpass your own achievements, and better yourself. Plus, your child gets to learn self-defense skills, which is always useful, especially for girls. With dozens of existing disciplines, you can explore and find the one that is best suited to your kid’s temperament.
If your kid is not constantly on the move, but you think an activity would be beneficial to them, why not try bowling? It is less active, although still competitive and fun. Besides the fact that it has some great therapeutic benefits, it could be also a great family bonding activity. Although it’s not viable for very small children, older kids love it. And once your child learns how to bowl, it’s something you can do together in your free time.
Whichever sport you choose, you won’t go wrong. You don’t even have to nail it from the start – it’s okay to wander a little, and try a few activities until you find that perfect one. In the meantime, all that matters is that your kids are getting the exercise they need.
About the author
Zara Lewis (Twitter: @ZaraELewis) is a mom, designer and a regular contributor to highstylife.com , devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She seeks for beauty in everything that surrounds her. Will start a blog about it once. Until then writes her diary occasionally. Romantic soul and tech geek in one body. She enjoys hiking, cycling, yoga and cooking.