Physical Education exists in a love/hate relationship with many teens. Either way, you look at it, there is no denying that exercise is a crucial part of staying healthy, and PE can be a graduation requirement in many states. So, if your kiddo is not entirely thrilled with PE and you want to help in ways beyond what a gym teacher would do, here are ten tips to help them embrace their workout more.
Make it Fun and Engaging
Constant stimuli surround young people. Their phones can connect them to anyone almost instantly, and they can access action-packed films in seconds. It is hard to compete with this much input, so hook your adolescent on exercise that uses their brain as much as their body. Enrolling in MMA classes might be just the thing to challenge them competitively and physically. Or, maybe a training routine with a high volume workout that includes multiple repetitions and different sets. Challenge them to complete as many rounds as possible in a set period to make each session a step up from the last.
Emphasize the Real-World Benefits
Let them know why they should elevate their heart rate and strengthen their core. Nearly every student is expected to spend time sitting at a desk working on a computer. Staying in the same position for hours can create soreness in the neck and back. Remind your learner that tightening their abdominal muscles won’t only make them look good but will also help them reduce the risk of injury.
Change up the Point of View
Boredom is real, so instead of following the same pattern day in and day out, throw in some adventures. Swimming, hiking and rollerblading all require mental focus, endurance and strength. Check the forecast, if it looks like a nice day, go outside and look at conditioning through a different lens. Avoid straining joints and ligaments by altering heavy impact with light throughout the week.
Be a Little Creative
Scavenger hunts and card games are clever approaches to get someone moving. Prepare clues and put them in secret locations around town or in your yard. Then, share the first hint and watch the fun and cardio happen while your teen attempts to discover where to find the next lead.
Remember the Value of Rewards
Combined with the scavenger hunt or on its own, don’t forget to reward kids for doing their best. You could include a gift card or coupon in one of the clue envelopes, or you can set achievement goals such as twenty-five push-ups in two minutes to reinforce the significance of a job well done. Please note that you do not overdo this idea, so its impact is not lost.
Combine Forces With Other Homeschoolers
Reach out to families or groups in your community to see if they would be interested in forming a club or team that can serve as a physical education opportunity. Pickleball is growing in popularity and is an entertaining way to combine aerobics and body mechanics.
Find the Zen
Incorporate time to unwind and relax. A consistent yoga practice can calm the mind and stretch tight muscles. You can learn more about the benefits of yoga by researching the different styles and intensities.
Put the Responsibility Back on Them
If you are encountering resistance to exercise, flip the table and give ownership back to the complainer. Let them investigate various programs and tell you what they would like to do. Encourage them to find out what some of their favorite celebs or athletes do to stay in shape and use that as a model.
What? Did You Say a Puppy?
Admittedly, this suggestion is not for everyone, but if there is room in your life to adopt an unwanted pet, it could be the perfect catalyst to create a workout enthusiast. Puppies need daily walks.
Do not get discouraged if PE is the least desirable pursuit in your teen’s day. Try one or two of these leads and be positive.
Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks, and DIY. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.