Research shows that many children today are struggling to meet their daily-recommended targets for physical activity. We know that inactivity is a risk factor for a multitude of chronic diseases and many of the habits that shape our adult lives are set in childhood. Physical activity is important for a growing body as movement and weight bearing have a large impact on bone strength, muscle and tendon health. Here are some tips from our Remuera physio clinic to make sure your child is staying as active as possible.
Children who are very coordinated and excel in competition may find team sports both increase their self-esteem as well as keep them fit. For other children, being a part of a team can cause embarrassment and they may say they dislike exercise, when in fact what they dislike is letting down the team.
These children may prefer a sport where success measured by improving on their own performance, rather than being compared to other children. Surfing, yoga, martial arts, dancing or gymnastics can be activities that suit your child if competitive and team sports cause them to be discouraged.
While children do bounce back quickly from injuries, they also may have difficulty expressing themselves and their worries when they have pain. A niggling pain that won’t go away may cause your child to say “I don’t like sport” rather than mentioning that they are in pain.
Some children may retain worries that they will hurt themselves again because of a previous injury. This can cause them to avoid exercise because they don’t feel completely confident. Our experienced physiotherapists in our Remuera physio clinic can help to identify any issues that your child is having and help to resolve them.
We will also tailor your child’s rehabilitation from any injuries to them. We know the importance of making rehab fun and for children this is especially important.
As less children are walking and riding to school, try to find ways to fit extra activities into the day. Have a daily long jump competition in the back yard at the same time each day or have bed making time trials. Have a routine before bed of age appropriate exercises, such as star jumps, hopping, balancing and running on the spot. You can make this part of the night or morning ritual, just like brushing your teeth. In the weekends, taking a family walk in the bush or along a new beach or hop on that bike that has been collecting cobwebs in the garage. These are great ways to spend time with the family and explore a new areas around your home.
Talk to one of our physiotherapists in our Remuera physio clinic for more tips on how to increase your child’s activity levels. Finding an activity that matches your child’s age level is key to keeping them engaged and active.