As a parent, it’s important to encourage your children to be active by showing them what a healthy lifestyle looks like. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends children get at least one hour (60 minutes) of physical activity each day. By going on bike rides together, walking around the neighborhood, coaching sports teams and even playing simple games around the house, you have the opportunity to play a vital role in keeping your kids active and healthy.
When engaging in physical activities with your kids, the three main areas you want to focus on are aerobic activity, muscle and strength training, and bone strengthening. For aerobic activities, you can take them outside and ride bikes or play tag. Muscle strengthening will increase their overall fitness and keep their muscles from weakening due to lack of activity. Bone strengthening will help keep them from experiencing small fractures of their bones when they fall down or are playing outside. For these, you can simply run around with them, jump rope or play hopscotch.
As school begins, engaging in programs such as the Walking School Bus is a great way to keep your family healthy. A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. It can be informal, or it can be structured to include meeting points and a timetable of regularly rotated volunteers. The CDC recommends one adult per six children. A variation of the walking school bus is the bicycle train, in which adults supervise children riding their bikes to school.
To start an informal bus, WalkingSchoolBus.org recommends the following steps:
- Inviting families who live nearby to walk
- Picking a route and taking a test walk
- Deciding how often the group will walk together
- Having fun!
During school, kids may have the opportunity to participate in activities such as P.E. class, recess and sports. Keeping them active will ultimately result in health benefits for both you and your child. Even smaller children need physical activity, and it’s more fun for them to have their parents involved.
For more ways to keep your kids healthy, visit ArnoldPalmerHospital.com.
Back to School
Back-to-school season adds a lot of things to a busy parent’s to do list: purchasing school supplies, finding new clothes for your children, and wrapping up summer programs.