We know that children are little mimics – they will copy behaviors that they observe and repeat words that they hear (nearly every parent can attest to this with stories of awkward situations involving particular word choices not appropriate for 5-year-olds to utter). So if mom and dad relax in front of the TV after dinner, chances are that’s going to be the preference for the kids as well. But, if mom and dad instead say it’s time to do something fun together after dinner, that helps create an environment where activity is normal and encouraged.
While it can be hard with busy lifestyle – whether it’s work, or scheduled activities like music lessons or sports – you really have to make the time, otherwise it’s too easy to put things off until the next day. Block time on the weekend – whether it’s an hour or half the day – and do something fun as a family. Go for a hike, go for a bike ride on a trail, go geocaching, discover a new park – just go. Do something. You can even let the kids decide – chose between a hike or bike ride. Go for a walk after dinner. Just get out together.
While many think of dancing as an art form, there’s no question it is a sport with rigorous physical demands. Formal training has often focused on the technical and aesthetic demands of the sport, but recent research suggests that traditional training has only limited focus on the aerobic and cardiovascular aspects.
It may be hard to believe, but dancers often demonstrate fitness levels similar to those of healthy sedentary individuals. With the reduced levels of overall physical fitness, there are often higher levels of injuries in dancers. To help reduce the risk of injury, and improve movement efficiency, performance excellence and longevity in the field, dancers should consider a training program that includes cardiovascular endurance or aerobic exercise, and strength and power training.
We have a lot of success stories at the Pediatric Fitness Clinic. And when we do, we will ask the kids what helped them be successful. Nearly every single kid responds with:
- Finding something they liked to do
- Doing the activity with someone they enjoy being with
It can be challenging to find something kids like to do. And as parents, we all know that if kids don’t like to do something, it’s going to be a struggle. Not every kid will want to play little league or soccer, but with a bit of investigating and a lot of patience, you can find options out there your kids will enjoy. Maybe it’s Ultimate Frisbee, riding a bike, swimming or dancing– it may take several tries.
Whether your child is playing or sitting at the beach, heat exposure does a toll on their bodies and puts them at risk for dehydration. Children are more prone to dehydration than adults because their bodies don’t cool as efficiently. The danger comes when fluid is not being replaced from sweat that is being lost.
Be on the lookout for the first symptoms of dehydration:
- Dry lips and tongue
- Dark urine color
- Decrease in urination
- Feeling overheated
A family tradition. Those words inspire a warm feeling. One of my favorite family traditions involves a bike ride that captures the essence of family, activity and our glorious Wisconsin northwoods.
As a young man I spent many summers as a camp counselor in northern Wisconsin. I developed a bond with kids and the northwoods. I love the sound of the loon, the northern lakes and the majesty of ancient pine forests. I wanted to share that same experience with my children.