We know many of the habits that shape our adult lives are set in childhood. Physical activity is important for a growing body as movement and weight bearing have a large impact on bone strength, muscle and tendon health! In an era of online games, its important to keep a balance and build healthy active habits for kids that can then form a lifetime of healthy body and mind.
Here are some tips to make sure your child is staying as active as possible.
1. Find an activity that suits your child.
Children who are coordinated and excel in competition may find team sports both increase their self-esteem as well as keep them fit. Team sports build a lifetime of friendships as well as team building skills.
For other children however, being a part of a team can be uncomfortable. But there are plenty of other healthy activities that are positive for these kids. Less competitive children may prefer a sport where success measured by improving on their own efforts, rather than a team environment or 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.
We also know that a healthy mindset comes from a willingness to try without the fear of failure. Create encouragement for efforts with activity, rather than rewards for sporting outcomes. Encouraging effort over outcomes in either individual or team pursuits can be a great way of encouraging kids to stay happy and active.
2. 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.
Developing bodies can have specific injuries that are different from adults and need to be diagnosed accurately.
3. Set fun and challenging goals for them to complete during their daily routine.
As less 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 back yard, a morning dance to their favourite song, trampoline time, beach running races or weekend bush walks. You can make these exercises part of the night or morning ritual, just like brushing your teeth.
Our bodies love variety and so do kids. Mix it up with weekend outdoor activity that can form a lifetime habit of healthy mind and body.
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