Stay Fit! Resolutions to Boost Physical Activity in Kids

by Jodi Gilray-Szostak, PT, DPT, c/NDT, Jodi Gilray Pediatric Therapy

Kids are movement machines, but in this digital age, device use often takes up far more time during the day than it used to. Sometimes, this means sacrificing necessary time to move.

Once kids are in school, it is recommended they have at least one hour of exercise each day. Daily physical activity for kids means better posture, ache and pain prevention, improved focus and even better grades

With these resolution suggestions, you’ll be able to incorporate more movement throughout the day. 

Go to the park

From jungle gyms to grass play, the park is the place to go all out with movement. To mix things up, try out different parks each week. If you’re feeling really ambitious, go on and join your kiddo. This is your opportunity to get some physical activity in too.

Take at least five movement breaks

Put that tracker you got for Christmas to work. If your kiddo spends a ton of time sitting either with schoolwork or a device, set a timer. When the timer goes off, it’s time to move. Dance silly, stretch or go outside for five minutes. Getting in even just a little more movement between tasks can help your kiddo stay focused and recharged.

Use active toys

Jump ropes, sports balls, chalk (for mazes, hopscotch and obstacle courses), bikes and scooters are all toys that provide a ton of opportunities to move more. As far as gross motor skills activities go, sometimes all you need is an active play toy that your child loves.

Replace homework, TV chair with exercise ball

When we sit in regular chairs, the tendency is to slouch. This interferes with good posture, and without good posture, kids are more likely to complain about aches and pains.

An exercise ball can help with core stability and balance.

Into the new year

Remember that it’s important to make movement fun and something that you’ll want to do over and over again. Whatever way you decide to encourage physical activity in the home, know that there is absolutely no way you could ever regret moving more. 

If movement is an issue or your kiddo often complains about aches and pains, you’ll want to speak to your doctor about getting a referral for physical therapy.