While the thought of trying to fit yet one more thing into the day might be overwhelming, following a simple sequence of yoga poses can be a great way to help kids wind down at night or even get them moving in the morning. Certified yoga instructor Katie Schwartz, with UW Health’s Center for Wellness, offers a simple sequence to help kids get moving in the morning, or wind down at night.
A few tips when performing the poses:
- Make sure you have enough space to stretch out
without bumping into anything
- Listen to your body – if a pose doesn’t feel
comfortable, don’t force it
- Hold each pose for three breaths before moving
to the next
- It isn’t a race to finish – move slowly and stay
Some kids naturally excel in gym
class and on the playing field — and some don’t. But your child doesn’t need to
be an athlete to develop a love of physical activity, and that’s an important
message to emphasize if you want to build lifelong healthy habits.
“Don’t confuse activity with athlete,” recommends Ellen Houston, an exercise physiologist with the UW Health Pediatric Fitness Clinic. “Sports aren’t for everyone, and that’s OK.”
It can be difficult to explain the difference between physical activity and exercise with children. The definitions are much easier to describe with teens and adults.
For teens and adults exercise is movement you do for physical improvement.
For the last 15 years, I’ve worked with school-age children from elementary school through high school as a special education assistant, track and cross country coach and exercise physiologist in the Pediatric Fitness Clinic. During this time, exercise has been my “go to” tool for handling behavioral, performance and medical concerns. It’s obvious that the need for exercise is universal (emotional, physical, and psychological health). However, approaching your child with the type of activity they are drawn to varies based on their personality. It seems as if certain “Fitness Personalities” occur time and time again. Knowing your child’s personality may help you find the right activity for your child that feels natural, is rewarding and fun.
Outdoor winter activities are enjoyable, but it is always good to be prepared with a list of indoor physical activities for when it is too cold or too rainy to play outside.
These games are fun for kids to play with each other but they will have a blast if their parents play, too!