Monday, June 6, 2011

Activities to Keep Kids Physically Active after School

Childhood obesity has become a leading problem in our nation. The general health of our youth has suffered drastically in the past decade, and it is about time for a positive change.

Stocking gym class with all manner of physical education equipment is a great first step to getting kids moving, but kids need to stay active outside of school. Here are some ideas to keep kids physically active after school.

Organized Sports

Whether it’s baseball, basketball, or soccer, after school sports are a great way to keep your child active and exercising regularly. Most communities have a sports league of some kind, so signing your child up shouldn’t be too much trouble.

An after school team will get your child active and moving and keep him away from the TV. On top of health, an after school team will help build your child’s social skills. Participating in a group sport will build their teamwork, confidence, discipline, and self-esteem while decreasing any pent up stress. Your child will also become more social.

Remember that, above all, your child should be having fun with his or her new friends.

Other Activities

If your kids aren’t so hot on the idea of group sports, there are other after school program activities they can take part in that may not be as traditional but can still be very effective in keeping them active.

· Martial arts classes will teach them control, self-defense, and discipline.

· Extreme sports, like skateboarding, require a great amount of physical exertion. Just make sure to buy proper pads and equipment.

· Dance lessons are great for building flexibility and strength. If your kids already love music, dance lessons could be a great supplement.

Get Involved

One of the greatest ways to get your kids active is to get involved yourself. Lead by example. If your children see you exercising and being active, they will most likely join in.

This also means you can do things together. Go on bike rides together. Find some hiking trails nearby. Show some interest in what your kids do. It’s a great and simple way to show your support for them.

Remember Diet

Not necessarily an activity, but teaching your kids proper nutrition and diet is crucial, especially at a young age. When used in conjunction with regular exercise and physical activity, a diet can greatly improve a child’s health and well being.

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