Does your child have an affinity for the couch, computer, or tablet? Do you struggle to get your child to engage in sports, outdoor play, or physical activity? Here are some top tips to help foster a love for exercise in your children:
Not every child’s dream is to become a professional athlete, an astronaut, or hike Mount Everest, but every child has a passion or area of interest. Explore your child’s interests and work together to make moving fun. Typical sedentary tasks can often be performed standing, seated on a theraball, or even be adapted to perform sit-to-stand repetitions between taking turns.
Nearly all types of play can be made active; just be sure to keep the focus of the task on the fun, and the mobility will follow.
If your child is a social butterfly, make it a group activity. Group sports are a great way to get out with other families, but also, a quick trip to the park or backyard can inspire creative play in a more “challenging” physical environment. There are also a variety of yard games that can be adapted to your child’s interest; whether it is spaceships, princesses, or fantasy themes, you can turn a game of “red light green light” or “Tag” into their personalized dream world.
Whether it is a bathtub, swimming pool, splash pad, or garden sprinkler, there are many ways to inspire mobility for your child. Spraying some shaving cream on the side of the bathtub can provide a toddler with hours of entertainment and will have them squatting/standing without even knowing they are exercising. For older children, moving through the sprinkler or chasing the waves can help with strength, balance, and body control.
Your child may not remember that they ran for 30 minutes, did 30 squats, or climbed 30 rungs on the swing set, but they will remember the smiles, fun times, and challenges they accomplished. The key to inspiring your child to remain fit and active is to make it a desirable, memorable, and fun activity; if it is not fun, why do it?
If you would like to learn more about how a physical therapist can support your child and help them lead a healthy, active life, reach out to your nearest Athletico. Appointments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth platform.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.