The cultural expectation for children, especially boys, to participate in physical activity through sports can be challenging for some. From school activities to time spent with family, organized sports are the chief contributors to physical activity. These expectations can be tough to overcome, as physical activity seems to be linked more and more to sports. While there are a great many sports out there that can meet a wide variety of tastes and interests, sports simply aren’t for everyone. Competition, sports cultures, and strict rules can be off-putting and be discouraging from progressing in a sport. However, that doesn’t mean that you, your children, and your family can’t stay active.
Your kid doesn't like traditional sports? No problem! Every child should have the opportunity to develop their own physical fitness, but there isn’t one single path that works best for everyone. Similarly, your family can stay active without having to do an activity that not everyone will be enthused about. So how can you keep a love of activity alive without going in on traditional sports?
It’s a way to take in nature, de-stress and spend quality time with friends and family, or alone. There’s no set pace, no set time or distance limits, and the level of activity can be exactly what you make it. Hiking is one of the easiest activities to participate in that builds fitness without the constraint of sports. Next weekend, try scoping out parks and hiking trails near your house and getting your family involved in a hike. You and your children might discover a new passion, and you’ll certainly work up a sweat.
Biking does carry an initial investment cost, but since it serves as an alternate mode of transportation as well as a great way to get and stay in shape, bikes could well be worth it if you don’t already own them. When observing the proper safety practices, biking gives your children a safe way to get around while burning calories and having fun. If their friends nearby also have bikes, then it’s all the easier to get your child out and about while building muscle and burning calories.
Climbing may not be for everyone, but if there’s a climbing gym nearby it’s worth it to try it out and see if it’s right for you. Climbing walls come with a complete array of safety equipment, padded floors, a variety of climbing walls varying by difficulty, and staff to ensure that everyone has a safe, fun experience. Climbing can be one of the most physically demanding activities you can do, giving a full-body workout, but is also only as intensive as you want it to be. If your children take to it, you might find they have so much fun they don’t notice how much exercise they’re actually doing!
Play on Play Equipment
For some, the structure of sports can be off-putting if they’re more comfortable with an open environment where they can run, climb and jump how they please. If you’re nearby a local playground, visiting the play equipment there and setting your children loose can be a great way to get exercise. Children can meet friends, play games, and exercise for hours in a more open environment, providing a great way to keep exercise fun. Bonus points if you walk to the playground.
Participate in Ninja Classes
For parents looking for a structured environment to allow their children to be physically active without participating in the traditional structure of organized sports, Ninja Classes could be the perfect answer. The NinjaZone program combines elements of coordination from gymnastics, strength, and agility from obstacle training and the creativity from freestyle movement, all in a program where progression is determined at the pace of progress that the child makes.
We’ve designed the program to be fun, with Ninjas grouped by age and supervised to ensure that they have fun and stay safe. Ninja Classes aren’t a sport in a traditional sense, but they provide a great opportunity for kids to have fun and develop confidence in addition to fitness. If you’re interested in signing your child up for the NinjaZone program and getting in shape without sports, contract a certified gym near you today!