Keeping Kids Active

on January 15, 2013

Anyone who has watched their child on the playground knows that most kids are naturally physically active and love to move around. But what might not be apparent is that climbing to the top of the monkey bars or playing tag can lead to a lifetime of being active.

As our kids get older, it can be a challenge for them to get enough daily activity. Reasons include increasing demands of school, a feeling among some kids that they lack sports skills, a lack of active role models, and general “business” in families.

Children of different ages present differing needs when it comes to physical activity. Preschoolers need play-based activities that help them in developing important motor skills. Such activities include tossing and catching a ball, hopscotch, and follow the leader.

School-age kids generally have a desire to spend more of their time on sedentary pursuits such as video games or television. During this time it is important for parents to help guide their children to physical activities they are interested in, enjoy doing, and feel successful doing. Such activities can include traditional sports such as basketball and soccer to less-traditional such as biking, swimming, and martial arts. Simply encouraging a set amount of time spent playing outside can help with encouraging activity.

As a parent it is crucial to be active yourself and support your kids’ interests. If you start this early enough, they will come to regard activity as a normal and fun part of your family’s everyday routine. It is never too late to start.


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