If you're a parent, you know your kids probably need to exercise more. But with so many screen distractions -- like video games, phones and TV's -- how do we make it happen?
Stephanie Williams, Pediatric Physical Therapist with Providence Neurodevelopmental Center for Children, joined us today with some great ideas!
For more information about how to get your kids moving over the summer, head to our Family Matters section.
What are some goals parents should strive for?
- Children should be involved in daily physical activity such as walking or cycling around the neighborhood, performing household chores or running errands
- Children ages 6 - 17 should exercise EVERY DAY for 60 minutes. Activities should require moderate to vigorous levels of exertion, like brisk walking, stair-climbing, racquet sports, jogging, dance, swimming laps, skating, cross-country skiing or cycling.
- For most children, it's fine to do 15-20 minutes of resistance or strength training sessions twice a week using higher repetitions (25 reps) and lower resistance as long as there's proper instruction and supervision
- Children should stretch on alternative days for 60 seconds each stretch
- Vary the activities to work different parts of the body
What's a good way to motivate kids to be active?
- Involve children in deciding which activities to do
What are some health benefits kids get from exercise?
- Daily physical activity builds a healthy heart and stimulates muscle and bone growth
- Healthy, fit kids have more energy, sleep better and often have better eating habits than their sedentary peers
And it's also good for your child's brain:
- One six-year study found that the academic performance of students who exercised regularly had significantly improved compared to students who did not participate in regular physical activity
- It appears that children benefit from better concentration, memory, creativity, problem-solving ability and overall mood for up to two hours following exercise
- There are reports suggesting exercise can boost a child's self-confidence and self-image. It also reduces aggression and decreases anxiety and depression.