June 18, 2024

5 Tips for Encouraging Foster Children to Exercise

Physical activity is a key aspect of the development and well-being of children because it enhances the body but also strengthens the mind. For foster children who may have experienced trauma, regular physical activity can act as a powerful tool for promoting self-esteem, coping skills, and resilience. Below, we explore five tips for encouraging foster children to embrace exercise.

Make Exercise a Family Event

Incorporating physical activity into your family’s routine doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated, but doing so can turn exercise into a fun and engaging affair. To get the whole family moving, here are some ideas:

  • Turn household chores into exercise: Put on some catchy music and get stuck into the housework together. Challenge each other to see who can finish first and turn vacuuming into cardio, gardening into strength-building, and dusting into a dance routine.
  • Have a dance party: Unleash your inner party animals with a spontaneous dance party. Create a playlist of everyone’s favourite tracks and get ready to bust a move.
  • Plan a family outing: Instead of lounging about at home this weekend, plan a family outing that involves physical exercise. Think biking, hiking, or heading to the local playpark.

Celebrate Achievements and Encourage Progression

Training provided by fosterplus.co.uk and other reputable agencies will outline the importance of boosting self-esteem and confidence, which can be achieved through the power of positive praise, celebrating achievements, and encouraging progression. When a child feels appreciated for their efforts, they are more likely to continue to reap the benefits of exercise. Milestones for success could be as simple as engaging in physical activity without friction.

Incorporate Exercise into Daily Routines

Integrating exercise into the daily routine doesn’t mean changing everything. Even the smallest changes can have a huge impact on health and well-being. For example, instead of taking the car on the school run, consider cycling or walking.

Make Exercise Fun

Children are more likely to engage in activities when they find them enjoyable, which is why it’s essential to make exercise fun. After all, if it feels like a chore, nobody will feel like jumping into action. To integrate fun into exercise, consider the following:

  • Personalise the experience: Explore different activities until your foster child finds one they enjoy.
  • Foster a sense of community: Get involved in group events, whether it’s a large game with the family, joining a school club, or getting involved with community sports teams.
  • Incorporate play and games: Turn exercise into fun-filled games. For example, play tag instead of running laps around the park.

Match Activities to Abilities and Interests

If your foster children find activities too difficult, they’re more likely to lose interest. Find activities aligned with their skill level, preference, and developmental stage. While trial and error can be effective, we recommend having a conversation to find out what your foster child enjoys.

Exercise is a key ingredient when it comes to child well-being and development. By following the tips outlined above, you can encourage your foster children to engage in exercise.

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