In the current age of electronics, it can be tough to make sure kids are getting the exercise they need. It doesn’t always work to just send them outside to play; they often need a little more motivation and structure to lure them away from the television or iPad.
Krista Migliore, DO, orthopedic surgeon with Kettering Health Network, recommends making exercise a family activity. “Go for a bike ride—you can rent bikes if you don’t have one—or go to the park for a hike. Something that works well for my family is to go to a trail with playgrounds; kids can play at one playground, then you can walk or bike together to the next playground.”
Some other activity recommendations for family exercise include:
What about organized sports?
Involving kids in sports can be a great way to ensure they’re getting adequate physical activity. However, Dr. Migliore says, “Kids shouldn’t play aggressive sports year-round; they do need a break.” Additionally, if children jump back into fall sports after a full break from activity in the summer, they need proper training and conditioning to minimize risk of overuse injuries.
Current recommendations are to incorporate 20 minutes per day of physical activity, including walking, stretching, and low-impact activities, or three days per week of more aggressive activity. “It can be something like jumping jacks in the living room, or running in place. You just want to get your heart rate up a little bit,” says. Dr. Migliore.
Teaching your children about exercise starts with setting the example. Whether you’re a weekend warrior yourself or the parent of a youth athlete, Kettering Health Network Sports Medicine is committed to improving health.