5 Easy Ways to Increase Physical Activity for KidsFebruary 11, 2021
Adults aren’t the only ones who need to be physically active to maintain a healthy lifestyle- it's also important for your kids! Current CDC recommendations encourage children to be involved in “moderate to vigorous” physical activity daily for 60 minutes each time. It’s also important for them to have a combination of activities that will help to build strong bones and muscles, as well as for a healthy cardiovascular system.
Encouraging your kids to be active while they are young will help to build lifelong habits for a happy and healthy life. Being active helps to promote strong bones and muscles, a healthy heart, improved mood, and a lower risk of developing certain health conditions later in life. It’s also a great way to build social skills and make friends with their peers! This year has proven to be particularly challenging to stay active, especially with kids having to stay home for schooling and decreased sporting activities available. Below are some easy tips to increase your child’s activity level.
Limit Screen Time
This is especially challenging with all of the regulations and changes in place due to COVID-19. Stay-at-home restrictions and school closures have forced kids to sit in front of a computer or tablet to be able to distance learn. After classes end for the day, kids should limit their time in front of electronics. Taking short 5-10 minute breaks every hour during virtual schooling (when appropriate) can also help decrease fatigue and burnout. Have them stand up and walk around, take a dance break, or even do jumping jacks. Anything that gets them moving!
What Interests Your Kids?
A sure-fire way to get your kids interested in physical activity is to ask them what they want to do. If your child isn’t interested in something, chances are they won’t maintain doing it long term. Ask them what sorts of activities they find fun and go from there.
Be a Role Model
Kids are like sponges, especially while they are young. They mimic everything that their parents and siblings do (even when we might not want them to). If your kids see you setting a good example being active, chances are they will follow suit without much of a fight. Make a point to do something active with your family multiple times a week. Whether it’s riding your bikes around the neighborhood, going in the backyard to kick a ball, or playing catch, every bit of activity counts. Added benefit- you might get a little sweat going too!
Need a Birthday or Holiday Gift Idea?
Birthdays and holidays are great ways to subtly get your kids more active. How? Buy them a gift that promotes movement and creativity. Bike, skateboard, hula-hoop, jump-rope, basketball... the options are endless!
Variety is Key
No one likes repeating the same routine- especially kids. As the saying goes, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results”. Their brains crave creativity and various forms of stimulation, so changing up their activities will help to keep them interested long term.
Let us know some of the most fun and successful activities you’ve done to keep your kids engaged in the comments below!
If your little one is having difficulty with jumping, walking, stairs, or just general discomfort while keeping active, we can help! Physical therapy is not just for adults or athletes. We can help anyone of all ages! PTs are trained in movement throughout the life span. We can help address any concerns you may have.
Wondering if physical therapy could be beneficial for you child? Call Coury & Buehler Physical Therapy to schedule a free consultation!