Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
When Houston’s summer heat soars over 90 ºF, many kids would rather hole up with their iPad than go outside. However, getting regular exercise is still important–no matter what temperature the outdoor thermometer reads. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, children and adolescents need a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity per day. If you’re looking for ways to get your kids moving, try some of these ideas…
Activity for Kids – Houston Orthopedic Doctor’s Recommendations
- Invite friends. If “family time” isn’t a big draw for your teenager, then plan a fun activity that requires them to bring along a friend.
- Make a game. If your kids like a little competition, turn exercise itself into a game. Use a chart, app or wearables (e.g. Fitbit) to track the whole family’s activities. Set milestones and prizes. Celebrate individuals and the group as a whole.
- Get into nature. Many studies suggest that exercise done in nature can have even more benefits than exercise that’s done inside or in an urban environment. Hiking or spending time out on the water can provide stress relief and time for building family relationships (in addition to the physical activity!).
- Exercise for charity. 5Ks, races, and other athletic events organized in support of a non-profit can be great options for kids and families. These community events put the focus on fun and the cause (not the sweat!). Also, depending on the intensity, participating in some of these events may give you the opportunity to train and prepare as a family.
- Put a cap on screen time. If you limit the amount of time your children are allowed to spend with a screen, then you force them to do something else. By limiting other options, play and exercise may naturally find their way into filling the empty hours.
- Set a routine. Routines provide children a sense of security and peace. You may be surprised how easy it is to make exercise a routine for your children, especially if they are younger. If exercise is on the schedule, just like bathing, meals, homework, and piano practice, then it happens.
- Reframe exercise. Physical activity should be associated with “reward” and never “punishment.” Putting exercise in a positive light naturally makes it more appealing.
Get Fit With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor
For more information about improving your health through safe and effective exercise, schedule your appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics. Call (713) 756-5546 or schedule online. Find out how a Houston sports medicine doctor can help you develop and meet performance goals.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.