General Physiotherapy

Finding time for fitness as a family

By

Damien Cummins

Physiotherapist, Practice Director

Thursday, October 24, 2019

As a parent, it is important for you to encourage your children to be physically active.

A child should try to do at least 40–60 minutes of exercise each day. To achieve this goal, plan some family togetherness time. Here are some easy ways to reach that goal together:

  • Walk the dog - Treat your dog to daily walks that include the entire family.
  • Check out physical participation video games - Nintendo fitness and sport games for example, enable the family to participate in fitness adventure challenges and have fun at the same time. It is generally good to get kids away from the TV, but in this case, if they are active, it is great.
  • Bone up - Be sure to include bone-strengthening exercise as well, such as hopscotch, jumping rope, gymnastics, or volleyball, any “weight-bearing” activity, one that you do standing up.
Family Playing Nintendo
Nintendo's Ring Fit Adventure - Image sourced from Nintendo
  • Go to the park - Make going to the park a reward for a job well done, a good test grade, or anything that deserves a positive reward. When you get there, play a fast game of Frisbee or toss a football.
  • Birthdays presents - Plan a day trip or visit a nearby zoo. A bike makes a great gift for every family member, as does a basketball hoop in the driveway and cricket pitch in the back yard.
  • Walk to school. Lace up your walking shoes and join the kids for a brisk walk to and from school each day.
  • Get to the playground - Take the kids to the playground to swing on the bars, climb a tree, or play tug-of-war.
Kids in the park throwing a frisbee
Get to the park, have a run, kick a ball or throw a frisbee.
  • Learn a new activity - Take a class together, such as martial arts, dance, or yoga.
  • Go with the flow - If your child shows interest in some activity, such as dancing, encourage it and go with her to participate.
  • Plant a garden - Whether you choose fruit and vegetables or just some pretty flowers, they’ll get some brisk exercise digging, planting, and weeding. Then the whole family can enjoy the fruits of their labour with fresh produce and cut flowers.
Family out in the garden.
Even getting the kids gardening will give them some brisk exercise digging, planting, and weeding.

If any of your family experience pain when exercising please don't hesitate to get in touch. When an adult or child has been living a more sedentary lifestyle the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues are not conditioned to sudden bouts of exercise and can be easily torn or damaged.

Having a health check can make sure there are no underlying issues that could be preventing a child from exercising.

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By

Damien Cummins

Physiotherapist, Practice Director

Damien Cummins has been practicing physiotherapy for 29 years, having graduated from Sydney University in 1990. His junior years as a physio began at John Hunter...

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