Want your kids to stay active this fall? Children’s National Health System’s sports medicine pediatrician, Nailah Coleman, MD
, has some tips on getting them moving. Dr. Coleman works in Children’s National’s Obesity Institute
, which has two weight-loss programs for children and adolescents: the IDEAL Clinic and the Weight-Loss Surgery Program
When it comes to talking about fitness with families, Coleman said, “I always start off discussions about physical activity with the idea that it should always be fun. Why do something, especially something routinely, if it is not enjoyable?”
As it gets cooler some kids would rather cuddle under their blankets and play their electronic devices instead of playing and running outdoors.
“For the cold months and for those who are particularly cold-weather averse, I encourage patients and their families to think about and find fun things to do inside that move their bodies,” Dr. Coleman said.Indoor activities include:
Incorporate Exercise into Everyday Activities
- Exer-gaming - fitness game or video games that are also a form of exercise
- Treadmill walking/running
- Riding a stationary bicycle
- Playing Ping-Pong
“I recommend adding physical activity to the typical sedentary things many of us partake in daily,” Dr. Coleman said. “For example, instead of sitting on the couch talking to your friend on the phone, why not walk around the room and talk? Instead of lying on the couch watching TV, stand while watching and do push ups, sit ups, and lunges during the commercials. The fun activity will hopefully serve as a distractor for the physical activity.”Get Outside and Enjoy the Cold!
This time of year is also a perfect season to encourage kids to spend time outside.
“There are also a variety of enjoyable winter activities, including walking, hiking, snowshoeing, skating, and skiing,” Coleman said. “When performed with appropriate garb and equipment, they can be a safe way to get outside, get moving, and have fun.”
Other fun ways to get or stay fit in the fall is to exercise as a family, participate in intramural sports, volunteering in the community with Habitat for Humanity, participating in a charity race or walk, walking the dog, or going on a nature walk to explore trees
in your neighborhood.