A key factor to sustaining regular exercise as an adult is having a deep repertoire of activities from which to choose engagement. Motivation can erode from the monotony of doing the same activity day after day without diversion. Having a wide variety of activity options increases the likelihood for daily engagement and, most important, reaping the health-related cardiovascular, muscular and joint range-of-motion benefit of exercise.
For example, cardiovascular options include basketball at the park or group fitness class at the gym. Muscular endurance options include weight training or lap swimming with hand paddles, and joint flexibility options include Pilates or a self-designed stretching routine.
But it’s not possible to take advantage of the motivation-enhancing choice principle without possessing a wide range of skill proficiency since the degree to which competent participation is possible also influences motivation.
Do your kids a huge health-related favor and encourage their skill development by involving them in as many different activity forms as possible. The following are suggestions for how to help your child develop a deep activity portfolio:
- Practice/engage in a variety of activities at home – Don’t worry if your skills are underdeveloped. They will also improve!
- Support school physical education – An often overlooked yet invaluable resource. Inquire to ensure your child’s school provides quality programming. Better yet, volunteer for your benefit as well as the program’s.
- Utilize recreation center programming, youth sports leagues and camps.
- Utilize college/university programming – Many offer budget-friendly, intercession and summer youth camps, and motor skill clinics through Kinesiology degree programs.
And if you are wondering, it’s never too late to hone your skills to grow your choice portfolio!