One of the best things you can do for your child's health is to help him or her be more active. But some children have a hard time with exercise. They may prefer to read, watch TV, or play video games. There is nothing wrong with those activities. But too much sitting around is not good for your child.
You and your child may not be sure there is time for physical activity in your busy lives. Start by thinking about the benefits. Being active can help your child have more energy and confidence. And it can help him or her stay at a healthy weight. It can also help prevent serious health problems later on. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
To be more active, your child could ride a bike with friends, play actively at school, or walk with the family. Or your child could play school sports or play basketball outside. Try to imagine what your child's life could be like with more physical activity.
It may help to know that your child does not have to make big changes right now. Think about trying one or two small changes at a time. In time, a good goal for your child is to get 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Your doctor can give you and your child the support you need to reach this goal.
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.
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Current as of: March 13, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
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