Written by: Ruth from The Children’s Physio Ltd.
With the final school half term looming just around the corner, give yourself and your little one a giant pat on the back and let out a big triumphant breath! You have almost made it through the school year and summer is within sight. Time Flies!
School holidays are a great time to let your children have some fun, be more active and generally let loose after a busy school term. But what happens when the holidays are over? Here at The Children’s Physio we often hear how difficult it is to keep your children active whilst they are in school and doing long days and with ever increasing busy schedules how can you ensure your child is getting the right amount of exercise?
It is recommended that children aged 5-18 years should be doing 60 minutes of exercise every day to stay healthy and keep fit. An hour on top of an already hectic school routine can be hard to find the time for, but exercising everyday doesn't have to be a chore. Here are some ways you can encourage your child to keep active and exercise during the school day, whilst still having fun...
Getting to School:
Avoid the dreaded school run! Instead of taking your child to school in the car or on the bus, encourage your child to walk or cycle to school. You could even talk to other parents who live close by and start a group so you can all stay fit and active and get to school together. After eating a healthy breakfast, exercising before school will help to stimulate brain cells and get your child alert and ready to learn. If the distance is too far, try getting on/off public transport one stop earlier than usual to get those important steps in.
Here at The Children's Physio we are often giving out lots of advice regarding the correct school bag for your child's height and age. School bags filled with heavy books are often a major cause of back pain and fatigue in children. Do a quick check of your child's school bag to make sure it is no bigger than your child's back and that it has wide, adjustable straps. Make sure your child is only carrying what they need for each day to reduce the weight of the bag, you would be surprised how things can build up over time.
Being active keeps muscles fit and strong and protects your child's joints. Weak muscles can lead to poor posture, and poor posture can cause severe back pain. In school encourage your child to sit upright in their chair with a straight back. Not only will this help them stay more alert in lessons but it will prevent them getting stiff and sore.
(At London’s Little Thinkers they use the phrase PPP - when children hear this they need to consider their POSTURE, the POSITION of their paper/chair & make sure they are holding their PEN correctly)
Make the most of Lunchtimes:
Lunch breaks should be fun and a chance for your child to take their mind away from the classroom. The complicated maths class or confusing science lesson does not need to be focused on during lunch. Getting active and doing some fun activities can help them relax and refocus ready for the afternoon. Ask your child's teacher what options there are during lunch breaks and encourage your child to take part.
No outdoor space?
No problem! Here in London there is an ever increasing demand on outdoor space and sadly lots of schools do not have a playground. Worry not, there are plenty of fun activities children can do indoors. Lots of schools are setting up lunchtime yoga groups, martial arts or using the school hall to allow for indoor play and games. Some London schools even organise daily walks to local parks. Have a chat with your child's teacher and see what can be arranged to provide your child with fun, stimulating, physical activity.
These are a great way of keeping active, having fun, increasing self confidence and making friends. See what kind of clubs your school offers and sign your child up.
It is advisable your child gets up to move and stretch during long lessons and homework sessions. This can help improve energy levels and prevent your child experiencing pain and stiffness.
Keeping your children fit and healthy can be more fun than you think. Do you have any suggestions that you have found work for you and your child? If so comment below and lets get sharing ideas to keep children fit, healthy and happy!