Physical Activity - How to Help Your Child Be More Active

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It's great that you're helping your child to be more active. That is one of the best things you can do for your child's health. As you know, physical activity is good in many ways. For example, it can give your child more energy and confidence.

You probably have ideas about what kinds of activity work well for your child and your family. More activity may mean riding a bike with friends, playing actively at school, or walking with the family. It could also mean playing school sports or playing basketball outside.

Being active for at least 60 minutes a day is a good goal for your child. Your doctor can help you make a plan to reach this goal. You can also help your child if you are more active too. This can teach your child that exercise is for everyone.

As you make a plan, think about things that may cause problems. Some examples are bad weather, being tired, and busy schedules. Try to plan what you can do when these things happen.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you help your child be active?

In the home and at the park

  • Make exercise a part of your family's daily life.
    • Walk with your child to do errands. Or walk to the bus stop or school with your child. If you can't walk with your child, ask if a neighbour or other children can walk with him or her.
    • Ride bikes or go for walks together.
    • Give family members active tasks to do. These may include sweeping the floors, weeding the garden, or washing the car.
    • Jump rope, dance, skate, or toss a ball with your child.
    • Take your family to the park or pool.
  • Limit TV, video games, or computer time to 2 hours a day or less. (This does not include time for schoolwork.) Sit down with your child to plan out how he or she will use this time.
  • Do not let your child have a TV in his or her room.
  • Praise your child for doing exercise that he or she enjoys. If your child does not like team sports, there are many other options. For example, your child could bike, skate, run, dance, or do martial arts.

School or clubs

  • Check local schools, the YMCA, and other community resources for exercise or sports programs.
  • Take your child with you to your health club if it has a family exercise time or a swimming pool.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: May 27, 2016