Tips for Keeping Today’s Kids Active

Research indicates that many children today struggle to meet their daily-recommended physical activity levels. Inactivity is a risk factor for numerous chronic diseases, and many of the habits formed in childhood influence our adult lives. Physical activity is crucial for a growing body, as movement and weight-bearing activities significantly impact bone strength and muscle and tendon health. Here are some tips to ensure your child stays as active as possible.

1. Find an Activity that Matches Your Child’s Personality and Abilities

Children who are highly coordinated and enjoy competition may benefit from team sports, which can boost their self-esteem and keep them fit. However, for some children, being part of a team may lead to embarrassment. These children may say they dislike exercise when, in reality, they dislike feeling like a failure or letting down the team.

These children may prefer activities where success is measured by personal improvement rather than comparison to others. Surfing, yoga, martial arts, dancing, or gymnastics might be suitable options if competitive and team sports are discouraging for them.

2. Get Injuries Checked by a Professional and Invest in Proper Rehabilitation

Although children tend to recover quickly from injuries, they may struggle to express their pain and concerns. Persistent pain might cause a child to say, “I don’t like sports,” rather than admitting they are in pain.

Some children may fear re-injury and avoid exercise due to a lack of confidence. A physiotherapist can help identify and resolve any issues your child may be experiencing.

3. Set Fun and Challenging Goals for Daily Activities

With fewer children walking or riding to school, finding ways to incorporate extra activities into the day is essential. Consider having a daily long jump competition in the backyard at the same time each day or organizing bed-making time trials. Establish a routine before bed that includes age-appropriate exercises, such as star jumps, hopping, balancing, and running in place. Make this part of the nightly or morning ritual, just like brushing teeth.

Consult a physiotherapist for more tips on increasing your child’s activity levels. Finding an activity that matches your child’s age and interests is key to keeping them engaged and active.

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a medical professional for advice on specific injuries.

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