Ask a Trainer: Getting Gamers to MoveJanuary 2, 2018
My son could literally play video games from morning to night if allowed. How can I inspire a non-athletic pre-teen to get up and move. Also, how often should he get up?
It’s very common for pre-teens to be infatuated with the computer screen. In fact, this was me! As a teen, I would play video games for hours on end, and I was never interested in any sports. So how did I become a fitness trainer, certified youth trainer, and lover of exercise?
What Children Need
Experts suggest that children get 60 minutes of cardio-based activity daily; something that gets their heart beating. This doesn’t have to be 60 minutes of intense training everyday, but something as simple as a walk in the park or a game of tag with a sibling. However, 45-60 minutes of strength-based workouts is strongly recommended at least 3 days out of the week.
Overcoming the Stimulation of Video Games
Children and teens need to have fun and be stimulated in all that they do. The goal is to make exercise just as stimulating as the video games that they are playing. Some children may need a little help and inspiration, and I think the best way to do that is to find a friend or coach that the child loves to be around; whether that be teaming up with a best friend, joining a sports team, or working alongside a trainer.
For me, having someone I looked up to guide me through exercise programs and show me how great a healthy lifestyle feels made me want to continue working out. I always felt excited to work out with this person, and eventually it became part of my life.
Finding Something They Enjoy
With my clients, I always look for the activity or sport that excites them. I want all the workouts to be exciting, challenging, and fun! Whether we are boxing, doing obstacle courses, or playing a game, I’m always laughing, cracking jokes, and uplifting my clients to keep their momentum going. I want to be a coach, but also a friend!
Whatever your child decides they enjoy doing, make sure they feel confident doing it. Once this happens, a workout will become an exciting hobby rather than a chore!
By Paytra Gessler, Certified Youth Fitness Trainer, Certified Fitness Professional