Physical Activity for Young People
We all know kids need exercise; however, kids have switched from their carefree outdoor summer to structured days indoors with more screen time. Add to that the need to downsize our quarantine bubble due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Spokane area and activity can easily slip through the cracks. The good news is that kids are adaptable and have great imaginations. They just need some reminders to get moving. They need brain breaks.
Moving more and sitting less is critical for brain development, boosting the immune system and improving emotional well-being. During a pandemic, kids need all these things to adapt and stay healthy. The best way to achieve exercise benefits is to accumulate 60 minutes of activity a day. It doesn’t have to be all at once. Take “get moving” breaks throughout the day and see how easy it is to fill in the hour of activity!
According to this blog post by The British Journal of Sports Medicine, a good idea to help your kids enjoy and increase activity is to focus on the three C’s:
Build up their confidence by letting them know when they have worked hard and gotten better. If it becomes too easy, problem solve ways to make it harder. Avoid comparing them to siblings or other children.
Engage kids in decision making by giving them options (less options for younger children) for which activities they’d like to do. Try sessions where the kids are in charge and tell the adults what activities they will all do. Make it fun and avoid words like “should” or “have to.”
Make activity a way for your children to feel supported and connected with others. Do this by helping kids be active with their peers in a safe way. Make activity part of a weekly family time and get moving with them as much as possible. They’ll love it!
So, let’s all get moving! Here are some ideas to get started: