Like adults, kids need to be physically active to stay healthy. Staying active can help your child maintain a healthy weight and help prevent diseases later in life. With spring in full effect, there are many ways your children can get the activity their body’s needs.
OrthoIndy Trauma surgeon Dr. Timothy Weber discusses ways to encourage physical activity amongst your family.
Why does a child need physical activity?
Everyone needs physical activity regardless of age. Children need to be active every day to promote their healthy growth and development.
“As human beings, we were built to move,” said Dr. Weber. “We don’t have to exercise for long periods of time, but we do need to walk or move for 30 minutes a day. Starting those habits when we’re young is critical to making it a lifetime activity.”
Is it bad to exercise at a young age?
More harm comes from being sedentary than being active. “Exercise is great for children who participate in it moderately,” said Dr. Weber. “Any exercise that is extreme such as long distance running or long hours spent exercising when you’re young, is not healthy. I would suggest mixing up your physical activity for your children as well.”
How can families exercise together?
Depending on the age of the child, the key to getting your family to exercise together is to make it fun as opposed to feeling like a workout or chore. Children are more likely to participate and enjoy it this way. Below is a list of suggested activities you could plan as a family to do.
- Go for a hike at a local park
- Jump rope
- Ride bikes on a local path or to a yogurt shop
- Take the dog for a walk
- Play frisbee
- Play outdoor volleyball
- Go to the pool
How do I get my child to work out for the first time?
If your child has never exercised before, try to experiment with different sports and activities to see what he or she might be interested in.
“Jogging, cycling, swimming and simple things such as push-ups, sit-ups or pull-up are all good starters for a child who has never exercised. You could even take your child to a yoga class.” said Dr. Weber. “I would recommend not to use weights in the beginning; stick to bodyweight exercises.”
Try to remember that kids aren’t created equally. What might work for one child may not work for the other. The overall goal is to just try and get your children to move.
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our well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.