Ways to keep your child active during summer break

Ways to keep your child active during summer break

During the past couple decades, technology has grown to the point where we can submerse ourselves in a completely different world. I can be in the jungles battling enemy soldiers, and with the click of a few buttons, I am slicing up fruit like a ninja trying to best my high score.

With all of this technology at our fingertips, it’s easy for children to find themselves consumed with electronic games for hours upon hours, distracting them from being physically active.

However, as a parent, it is important to limit your child’s screen time and find activities he or she enjoys. While this can be a challenge, it is not impossible.

This summer, try the following age appropriate options to increase your child’s activity level:

Age

How can I get my child to be active?

Elementary Animal Walks

Use a variety of animals that your child must act out while walking or jogging around the house or yard.

Hopping, Jumping, Skipping, etc.

Use different number and action variations (for example, 3 hops, 2 jumps, 5 skips). Make it a game to see how far they can go with different combinations.

COMPETITION!

Whether it is against a brother, sister, friend or themselves, all kids are competitive. Race around the house, or time how long it takes to get up the stairs. The options are endless. As their age increases, so do the options you have. You can have a different competition each day, and log the times or number of repetitions to track how much faster and stronger they get.

Middle School Running

This may seem obvious, but be creative with where and how you run. Run backward, run on trails, run fast for a short time or run slow for a long time. The key is to just run!

Small Intense Workouts

Start out with three or four 5-minute sessions. Use those 5 minutes to complete as many push-ups, sit-ups, squats, jumps and anything else that comes to mind.

High School Sports

Encourage your child to try 3 or 4 new sports this summer.

Involve Friends

Find a way to involve as many of your child’s friends as possible, making it easier to get them on board with a more active lifestyle.

You may also find that incorporating a reward system in your exercise routine helps motivate your child. For example, completing so many minutes of physical activity may earn screen time. By doing so, you are using the games your kids love so much as a bargaining tool to keep them moving.

There is no right or wrong answer on how to increase the activity level of your child. However, no activity at all is wrong. Encouraging healthy habits at a young age can help your child make healthier decisions over a lifetime.

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Andrew DeMoss, MS, ATC

Andrew Demoss is a certified athletic trainer for Cabell County middle schools through a community outreach program with the Marshall Sports Medicine Institute. Andrew received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in athletic training from Marshall University, during which time he interned with the San Francisco ‘49ers.