Across the United States the thaw has begun as winter gives way to spring. Many households are pulling out shorts and t-shirts, or at least lighter sweaters, and we venture out into the world after winter’s hibernation. It’s time to move our movement to the outdoors.
There is no doubt that activity is an essential ingredient in a healthy lifestyle. Keeping our kids active during times of stress provides numerous benefits physically, emotionally and psychologically. In a post last month, we highlighted the importance of extracurricular activities and how parents and kids can stay connected to those activities when they move or relocate.
Our kids are very fortunate as in today’s world opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities are as abundant and varied as our kids’ interests. In this post, we’re going to focus in on getting physical. Sports, dance, gymnastics, hip-hop, the list goes on. The opportunity to engage in physical activities after the school bell rings are numerous; and the benefits are numerous as well.
Team and individual sports not only challenge our kids physically, they also challenge our kids in problem-solving, strategizing and developing and strengthening interpersonal relationships. In a team sport environment, kids who have moved or relocated with their parents have a ready-made group of potential friends that can help with the transition into a new environment.
In addition, today’s kids are growing up with more access to technology than generations before them; technology that most often keeps them in a sedentary state. If a kid isn’t interested or engaged in team or individual sports, parents can use technology as a tool rather than an obstacle to get them active as well. Most gaming systems can be made into an “activity base” with the right games (think Dance Dance Revolution or Wii Fit), not to mention the abundance of exercise and fitness videos on YouTube.
Create a family step challenge to see who can take the most steps during a day, a week or a vacation. You can find basic pedometers at a low cost. Or if you want to splurge, go ahead and get that FitBit your child has been begging for…just make sure to use it!! Getting kids active has the added benefit of encouraging adults to get active as well. So join in the fun and GET OUT!!