As a parent, you want to do all you can to build your kids health and fitness. It includes fostering positive attitudes toward physical activity and sports.
For my children, I developed my own terms to choose fitness activities. What was important to me was
- safety and low risk of injury This should be a priority list any parent
- Skill facility A sport or gym activity that requires learning increasingly complex patterns of muscle coordination or group communication
- Development balance body fitness This means challenging the muscles of both the upper and lower body, train both right and left sides, and build cardio fitness and strength in a way that age-appropriate
- right mix of competitiveness, personal challenge and fun
- possibility of participating life
- Mix of individual pursuits and team sports, organized programs and less structured activities
- They gotta want to do it
Based on these criteria, here are my top ten sports, healthy games and gym activities for children
- Dance – Dance classes are excellent training for life. You learn to understand their own body and develop skills in a balanced way. It is a creative aspect to dance too. And you can continue to compete through life. Both my boys took dance classes when they were little. It is unfortunate that, as they got older, a number of other boys in the class thinned out and they eventually dropped out too.
- Kicking and punching (martial arts) – Fighting arts like Tae Kwon Do and karate emphasize balanced body (and mental) development, build self-confidence, have nicely orchestrated reward system of colored belts, and can be very enjoyable. This is also an activity that children and adults can both participate in.
- Swimming – Every kid should know how to swim. It works on different levels: a relaxing activity, a good part of basic life skills therapy, or a great, competitive sport. There are two possible negatives about swimming. Some have trouble with all the chlorine. And sometimes people who swim a lot can shoulder tendon problems because of recurring costs reached. Good training is a must for competitive swimmers.
- Soccer – This is one of my favorite team sports. You’re running all the time. It is collaboration involved. You learn to kick with both feet. You also need to develop peripheral vision and overall field savvy to improvise applied. Equipment requirements are not onerous. There are numerous adult leagues.
- Wrestling More kids should wrestle – girls especially. You have to be very fit to struggle, but at the same time it is a strategic mental game. Injuries are not that frequent. My older son wrestled on his high school team, and even though he does not plan to wrestle in college, I am convinced that it helped him get into the university of their choice. He participated in a lot other activities in high school too – band, choir and theater. Of all these social groups, wrestlers had the highest rating, and was the most ethnically diverse. Who knew? Another great thing about wrestling is that the weight of the system means that children of all sizes can compete on an equal basis. One possible negative about wrestling – depending on the intensity level of the program, and as the child fits in the weight spectrum, sometimes there is pressure to “cut weight” – using a special diet, sweat, and exercise regimen to lose enough poundage to qualify for certain weight class. This was never an issue with my son -. If there had been an issue I would have pulled him out of the program without hesitation
- Figure skating – can be fun lifetime activity. It trains for balance, an important and often-overlooked movement skill. (Eighty years from now your children will be less likely to fall and broken bones.) One drawback is that advanced skills, such as jumps, turns, are usually developed – unlike in dance- -. Go in one direction only
- Ice Hockey – my gratitude hockey as a sport for kids has grown. Movement skills developed in hockey are incredible. And I know the guys in fifty their sixties who still play – so there is an opportunity for a lifetime of participation. Hockey girls is growing in popularity, too. One drawback – unless you live in a cold climate where the ponds freeze in the winter, it can be a lot of equipment and other charges
- Ultimate – Ultimate is more than a bunch of latter-day hippies tossing a Frisbee around. It really is a serious sport that leads to the situation, teamwork and sportsmanship.
- Yoga – engages and integrates the mind, body and spirit – the whole package. Develops self-control, calm amid chaos and a lifelong appreciation of the body, both its limits and incredible capabilities.
- Hiking, canoeing, kayaking . Experiencing nature. Rising physical challenges. Anybody can do it at any age. Can be enjoyed as a family or with a group.
As a parent, please take an active part in encouraging health and fitness for kids. Based on your understanding of the physical and social development of the child, make positive choices for healthy activities for kids.