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Off the Couch: Encouraging Kids to Get Active

Mar 2, 2021

What a digital age we live in! From online classes to thrilling videogames, your child can easily get lost in the devices that we count on every day. Even so, active movement is exceptionally crucial for your child’s development. Balance, coordination, and feeling all-around good are all ways that movement can benefit your little one. The CDC recommends that children age 6-17 years get at least 1 hour of physical activity a day. Children below that age should definitely be moving throughout the day too. Unfortunately, no digital device exists that can replace good old physical activity. Your kiddo is going to have to get off the couch for this one, but there’s plenty of ways that moving can be fun.

Guilt-Free Activity

We live in a world that places great value on productivity and much less value on getting active. Much of the time, we put physical activity and play on the back burner even when it comes to our kids. If we do indulge in time away from work, class, or the important matters on our devices, we sometimes convince ourselves that it is something to feel guilty about.

It’s time to readjust that way of thinking and make sure that getting active becomes a top priority. Daily movement and play dramatically boost overall health physically and mentally. As a result of movement, academic performance can improve, giving you all the more reasons to make time for physical activity. When you remove guilt and the this-isn’t-as-important mentality, you’ll be more equipped when encouraging your kiddos to get moving.

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Start Small for Bigger Feats

If your child suddenly goes from 0 minutes to a full 60 minutes of physical activity all at once, you may be met with some resistance. Start low with 5-10 minutes, break the time up into small but more frequent sessions, and go up from there. Make sure you find a good time every day for movement. Consistency will be key if your kiddo needs a little more movement in their life. Should your child be completely uninterested in moving, try joining them, and follow these tips from one of our previous blog entries. Movement is for everyone, so be sure to follow interests.

Invest in an Active Lifestyle 

Bikes, scooters, skates, and jump ropes. Any toy that encourages movement might just be what your kiddo needs to enjoy an active lifestyle. Have your kiddo select something that they would truly enjoy to help get them excited about moving their bodies in the great outdoors. Think of this as an investment in their growth and development.

Breaks are Movement Opportunities

Staring at screens for hours and hours isn’t a good idea for anyone. Set a timer for your kiddo, anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Once the timer goes off, it is time to move for a given period of time. Do a few jumping jacks or stretches or go outside for a brief walk. Make the break time count to help get the blood flowing. Much of the time, these smaller breaks can increase your child’s focus and productivity in the long run.

Variety is Where the Spice is At

If your kiddo finds an activity that they love, then by all means, allow them to keep moving how they love to move. For some kids, the same activities over and over can become tedious and boring as they know what to expect. Add a new flavor into the mix by scheduling in new activities that they love. If you want to, create a monthly calendar of new activities that your kiddo would be willing to try. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

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When Getting Active Everyday Gets Tough

For kiddos with disabilities, you’ll want to ask your child’s pediatric or physical therapist about exercises that would be appropriate. Even though it may seem like an extra challenge, a professional will be able to guide you on how to incorporate a little more active movement each and every day. Physical activity can, and should, be enjoyed by everyone.

If your kiddo is struggling with movement in any way, it may be time to give us a call. We can help get your kiddo cruising and grooving in healthy ways.

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