September 24, 2014
Now that the school year is in full swing, most children will spend more time in class and doing homework than playing or engaging in physical activities.
However, incorporating regular physical activity into your child’s routine is very important for several reasons including healthy bone and muscle development, improved cardiovascular and respiratory functions, improved cognition, psychological well-being and reduced risk of depression and obesity.
Play doesn’t have to be limited to organized sports or expensive equipment. Children are naturally inclined to want to play when adults provide the environment and support, especially if you also participate.
Wondering how you can incorporate physical activity into your child’s day? Use these simple tips from our therapy team in Katy, Texas.
- Play music and take turns dancing in the pretend ‘spotlight’ with your child or play music and dance while you are both getting ready in the morning
- Play freeze dance with your child by walking or jogging in place for a minute and then ‘freezing’ and dancing for a minute.
- Create and participate in an indoor obstacle course with your child using pillows, tables, sofas and hula hoops.
- Encourage your child to play coach and let him or her decide what exercise you will do together. (Children enjoy the opportunity to tell adults what to do for a change.)
- Create a game using flashcards of different verbs such as ‘run’, ‘jump’ and ‘skip’. If your child can’t read yet, you can use photos instead of words. Add a dice to the game and take turns drawing a card to see what you will do next and how many times.
Even as little as 30 minutes of physical activity per day can produce positive health benefits.
The 30 minutes can be broken up into two 15-minute sessions per day, such as once in the morning before school and another session after school, before homework and dinner.
Exercise will help your child release stress before settling down for the evening and help them stay happy and healthy.
For more resources, visit the website for the National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.