Mommy Masters welcomes back guest contributor, Amy Williams, who helps us figure out what our child’s fitness personality is.
Every child is unique—both in personality and appearance. So it isn’t a surprise that not all kids like the same activities when it comes to physical fitness. While some kids may love all sports and outdoor activities, others may dread the outdoors or sports…but feel comfortable swimming or dancing.
Encouraging physical activity, however, is important for all kids. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an hour of physical activity per day is recommended for every child. While 60 minutes might seem like a lot of time, once kids are enjoying their activity time will fly.
So what activity is best to keep your child active and healthy? That depends on each individual and their preferences…and maybe even the moon (yes, some believe personality is tied to moon phases)! However, here are a few recommendations:
The High-Energy Rechargeable Kid
You know this kid…especially if he/she is your own! High-energy kids never stop. The love to move and they always are busy, busy, busy. For the child who somehow has a fourth and fifth wind, choose activities that meet their nonstop needs. Try heading to a trampoline park for a few hours of jumping (that will wear anyone down!), riding a bike (don’t forget the helmet) or a game of soccer or other in-motion sport. If your child loves running, take a jog around the block…or choose a safe path in the park for an hour of exploration.
The Not-Getting-Up Kid
Maybe your child absolutely refuses to go outside. Do they love television and video games? While screen time is fun, many kids get way too much of the devices. However, sometimes game systems can come in handy…especially when it means encouraging movement. Try playing interactive games that require your child to move his/her body and engage the screen. These games often have motion sensors to detect dance steps or other movements. Also, indoor bounce complexes with inflatable slides and obstacle courses may be a fun diversion.
The Sports Enthusiast
Kids who love sports probably already clock their hour a day of activity, and that’s great news! If you have a few down days, though, introduce your child to new sports. Maybe head to an indoor gym and shoot baskets or teach them racquetball (this is a challenging but intense sport). If they are naturally inclined to sports, don’t be afraid to branch out and try new activities.
The Outdoor Explorer
If your kid is an avid adventurer, head out into nature for lots of outdoor activities. Go for a hike, check out new parks or historic sites or go for a bike ride. You also can introduce outdoor enthusiasts to cave exploration, but choose a cave that’s safe for children and open for public tours. Don’t venture into any new cave alone or without guidance.
Head to a dance studio and schedule a new class…or have a dance-off at home. For kids who love ballet, there also are barre classes that combine workouts with the ballet barre. Check at your locate gym to see if a class is offered for children. You also can inquire about aerobics classes or hip hop workouts that might interest avid dancers. Pom or cheer also may be a fun option for those with a love of dance.
Every child’s interests are unique, which means that their choice of physical activity may vary. Some kids are naturally inclined to participate in sports or other physical activities, but other kids are happier to sit on the sidelines. However, all children need to get moving. So use your child’s personality as a guide to help them find activities that get them moving while also having a blast!
What type of sports personality is YOUR child? What would you consider yourself when you were their age?
Amy Williams is a free-lance journalist based in Southern California and mother of two. As a parent, she enjoys spreading the word on positive parenting techniques in the digital age and raising awareness on issues like cyberbullying and online safety.