Persuading your kids to go walking can be a thankless task. But there are ways to ease the pain.
When I asked my 17-year old what he thinks about the topic, his first response was “How old are the kids?” Exactly!
Timing is everything!
If you get your kids interested in nature walks when they are toddlers, they will be more enthusiastic about taking long walks as adults – especially when they appreciate the health benefits of walking.
Walking has been shown to improve blood circulation, muscles tone, mood and much more.
Check out this blog for ideas about how to get your kids excited about nature walks.
As your kids grow older, there won’t be much need for persuasion. As your kids approach the teenage years, things change drastically, so there’s not much you can do if they’re just not into it.
If you haven’t started mentally and physically preparing for walking at an early age, forget about it.
Bribe Your Kids To Go Walking
It sounds bad but stick with me for a moment! Bribery works. When you promise kids a treat, they will do anything. The lure of an ice-cream whilst you’re out walking is an option, but is not the best bribe for every child.
For example, if your children are obese and need to walk to lose weight, do not bribe them with sugary treats. Alternatively, you could “sponsor” them to walk, say a pound a mile.
The sweatcoin app can also help. We convert steps into digital tokens which you can then trade in with brands that offer huge discounts on goods and services. Check out the app for more details.
Bring a Friend
It’s easier to get your kids to go walking if you invite one or some of their friends. Everything is more fun when your friends are there.
It can also work better for you. If the children are preoccupied with one another, you can enjoy your walk in peace and quiet.
Apps for Nature Walks
Kids love hunting for things so why not an app that tells you what something is simply by pointing your mobile at it and taking a photograph.
You can apps that educate children about things you will come across whilst you’re out walking such as flora and fauna, trees, animals and the stars.
Walk and Sing
Walkers swear by singing. They say even when struggling through driving rain, a good old fashioned sing-along works wonders for keeping spirits up.
Why not engage your children in coming up with the lyrics to a military march: “I don’t know but I’ve been told, the sun shines bright but I’m still cold!”
Kit Them Out
Children might be more encouraged to go walking if they have new clothes to wear for occasions. Investing in a good pair of walking shoes, a backpack and an outdoor survival kit will make nature walks more of an adventure.
Tell Them A Story
If your child likes stories, teach them from an early age how good walking is for their health and personal prospects. Make up a story about a boy (or a girl) who was chubby, often so sick they could never go out to play, and struggled in school.
Shortly after he started walking every day with his parents, he got better. He lost weight, improved his concentration and grades in school, never got sick and was much happier.
Educate Your Kids About The Immune System
Educating children about health from an early age should always be encouraged yet the subject is not approached by schools. If there is one thing the recent coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has taught us, it is a need to build strong immunity.
The immune system is central to fighting disease and protecting healthy people against life-threatening viruses such as Covid-19. It has been shown that people with a healthy immune system not only survived a Covid-19 scare but, in general, are ill less often and recover quicker when they are sick.
It’s important to encourage children to engage in physical exercise for physiological and mental wellbeing. Getting your kids to go walking is a good starting point but can be used to get them invested in other things as well.