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The Movement Dilemma: Staying Active Without Sports

Dec 29, 2023

Let’s get physical! Physical! Or not… There is no denying that staying active is a game changer when it comes to promoting healthy development, gross and fine motor skills, and overall wellbeing from head-to-toe. The benefits of exercise always remain unmatched, but what can you do if your kiddo just is not in the groove with movement waves and tides?

In Scarier News, Give Me the Staying Active Stats

We know, we know. The demands of daily life are, for lack of a better term, a lot. Work, parenting, and other responsibilities add up during the day and can be overwhelming, especially without a plan of action. The thing is, we can’t ignore that many of us find ways to move less and less (hello, TV).

While about one in three adults is getting the recommended amount of daily physical activity, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that kids are no different. This means that only one in three kiddos are physically active each day.

We often think of kids as bundles of energy, yet many do not get the exercise they need. What’s up with that? A part of the answer lies with screen time. Children on average are spending more than 7.5 hours on screens per day in replace of play. Children even admit to spending their free time in front of the screen, hours at a time.

While it’s okay to spend time with your favorite shows and games, there is a point where it is too much. Other hobbies and activities can be enjoyed in place of excess screen time. Let’s say, something a little more physically engaging? While it’s easy to sign your kiddo up for a sport, the technological transitions in society make it harder and harder to actually want to move. If a sport isn’t enough, then what is?

Don’t Give Up Just Yet

We’ll say it again- don’t give up just yet! You of all people know your child best. It is possible that they need a little nudge to get them into a sport that they will really enjoy. Many barriers can arise as to why your child doesn’t want to participate the first time around. While it’s important to respect their decisions, you can find out what that barrier is and see if you can help.

For example, your child may express concern about performance or pressures associated with sports. If this is the obstacle, try group exercises that are less competitive like yoga, swimming lessons, or hiking. Maybe they are uncomfortable because they do not have much practice. In this scenario, you can ask the school or sports sponsor if your child can try out the sport before signing up. Keep in mind that there are so many creative options to choose from. If one fails, it will never hurt to try another.

Back to the Basics

If getting your child off the couch just isn’t working, we just want to say… don’t give up just yet! The reality is that there are abundant ways to enjoy the way our bodies move. If your child just can’t seem to pull away from the screen, make sure to set limits on screen time.

However, a benefit to technology is that we have even more variety for physical activity options. Your child can play Dance, Dance Revolution or can complete kid workouts on YouTube. Movement doesn’t always have to involve a heavy beating heart either. Even activities like walking with your kiddo in the evening or gardening will promote wellbeing in the pursuit of staying active. What move will you make?

We love helping your child move too. Reach out if you think physical therapy can help.