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Making Decisions on Physical Activity with Your Child

Posted Aug 24 2009 12:36pm
As children get older, increasing demands make it difficult for parents to make sure that they get the sixty minutes of daily exercise they need. TV and computers have added to the problem. Even positive activities such as studying and reading can add to the challenge.

Children who are identified as athletic or express interest in sports might end up getting more activities, but others who are more casual about sports may find replacement activities. However, being active is important for children to be able to strengthen their muscles and bones. Aside from the obvious developmental benefits of physical activity, active children also reduce their risk of chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure and type two diabetes.

They key is finding activities that your child enjoys. There are many options for children – from bike riding to tennis to swimming. If a child does not enjoy the activity, they are not likely to stick with it.

Early Elementary Age Kids

Expose your child to a variety of activities. Make sure the focus is on fun. A healthy mix of activities is ideal and be sure to include your child in the decisions. At this age, children are still mastering the fundamental skills of jumping, kicking and catching. It is not for a few more years that they will begin to combine these skills for sports. Therefore, if your child joins a sports team at this age, make sure the coach has realistic expectations.

Late Elementary Age Kids

At this age, children have mastered their basic skills and are more coordinated. They also have a better handle of rules and sportsmanship. These are good lessons a parent can teach a child. Regardless of the sport, it can provide valuable life lessons to your child.

Make sure that your child is suited for the activity they choose. A bigger child may be suited for football while a smaller one may succeed at baseball. Some children are more suited for non-team sports.

Consider whether your child’s personality is more suited for a sport like football or the challenge of martial arts. Even if your child is active, they may not have the patience for dance but may be suited to a face-paced sport like soccer.

If you are interested in getting your own start of fitness to help your child, contact BOOTCAMP 619 today.
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