We know that many habits that shape our adult lives are set in childhood. Physical activities for kids are important for a growing body, as movement and weight-bearing significantly impact bone strength, muscle health, and tendon health. There are simply so many benefits of physical activity for children. Here are some tips to ensure your child stays as active as possible.
Find an activity that suits your child.
Children who are coordinated and excel in competition may find that team sports for kids increase their self-esteem and keep them fit. However, for other children, being a part of a team can be uncomfortable.
Less competitive children may prefer a sport where success is measured by improving their own performance rather than being compared to other children. Surfing, yoga, martial arts, dancing or gymnastics may be activities that suit your child if competitive and team sports cause them to be discouraged. It doesn’t matter which activity they end up doing as long as they get to move their bodies. After all, children playing sport are healthier and more fit than those who don’t.
Do get injuries checked out by a professional and invest in proper rehabilitation.
While children do bounce back quickly from injuries, they also may have difficulty expressing pain and discomfort. A niggling pain that won’t go away may cause your child to say, “I don’t like sport”, rather than realising that they are in pain.
Some children may retain worries that they will hurt themselves again because of a previous injury and avoid exercise. Your physiotherapist can help to identify any issues that your child is having and help to resolve them.
Set fun and challenging goals for them to complete during their daily routine.
How much physical activity do children need? Studies show that kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. As fewer children are walking and riding to school, try to find ways to fit extra activities into the day. Some fun examples include running a daily long jump competition in the backyard. You can also add a routine of age-appropriate exercises and physical activities for kids at home, such as star jumps, hopping, balancing and running on the spot. You can make these exercises part of the night or morning ritual, just like brushing your teeth.
Talk to your physiotherapist for more tips on how to increase your child’s activity levels. Finding an activity that matches your child’s age level is key to keeping them engaged and active. None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.