Physical Fitness Archives - Nemours Blog

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Physical Fitness

Physical Activity: A Key Ingredient to Keeping Kids at a Healthy Weight, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Physical Activity: A Key Ingredient to Keeping Kids at a Healthy Weight

Last year’s social distancing restrictions left many families cooped up inside. With more time indoors, screen-time increased and physical activity declined for many families. With the weather heating up, and outdoor restrictions lifting, many are eager to get back to their regular summer activities. Benefits of Being Active When kids are active, their bodies can do the things they want and need them to do. Why? Because regular exercise provides these benefits: strong muscles and bones weight control decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes better sleep a better outlook on life Healthy, active kids are also more likely to do better in school. And physical competence builds self-esteem at every age. Additionally, regular physical activity improves mental health. It can have a positive impact on reducing the symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and ADHD. Exercise can boost overall mood. Getting outside to local parks and finding nearby recreation centers […]

Teens and Healthy Weight, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Teens and Healthy Weight

It can be a challenge to talk to your teen about reaching a healthy weight. It’s all too easy to imagine the ways in which the subject can backfire. But it’s more important than ever to get this discussion started. Because even as more American teens are carrying extra pounds, fewer are trying to lose weight. A recent study in JAMA Pediatrics found the percentage of teens aged 16-19 who are overweight or obese sharply increased in recent decades, to 34 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of overweight teens trying to lose weight fell to 23 percent for boys and 54 percent for girls. As teens see more people who are overweight, their ideas about what’s a healthy weight might be changing. Emotionally, it’s a positive when teens accept their body — but there are health risks to having extra weight. Overweight teens are at higher risk for: diabetes high blood […]

Sorting Out 7 Common Sports Injury Myths, by Alfred Atanda, Jr., MD, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Sorting Out 7 Common Sports Injury Myths

“No pain, no gain.” “Walk it off.” “He has a high tolerance for pain.” I’ve heard each one of these quotes and more during my many years as a pediatric orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine. Many of them are actively detrimental to the health of your child, not just at that moment but when they grow into a professional athlete as well. As you already know sports injuries can be life-changing, that’s why many professional athletes take out long term disability insurance in case they are left permanently out of action. Would you be willing to put your child at risk of permanent injury because of a few false preconceived notions you can easily avoid? The answer should always be “no”. How many sports injury myths do you believe to be true? Here’s a list of the most popular things I hear regarding preventing and dealing with sports injuries, […]

5 Fun Fall Activities to Keep Kids Moving, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

5 Fun Fall Activities to Keep Kids Moving

The long days of summer may be far behind us, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop enjoying the outdoors! The introduction of crisp air and shorter days may influence kids to give up outside play. But establishing regular fall activities for children and adults is still important – and very doable. It’s recommended that kids get an average of 60 minutes of physical activity each day. While a change in weather may limit kids’ favorite choices of physical activity, such as swimming at the local pool, the introduction of fall-themed activities can help kids stay active and enjoy the outdoors longer. 1. Pumpkin/Apple Picking Skip the hayride to the pumpkin patch or apple orchard and choose to walk. Not only will you be getting physical activity, you’ll be picking healthy foods. 2. Raking (and Jumping in) Leaves Encourage children to lend a helping hand with household chores by […]

Youth Soccer: What's the Goal, , by Jessica Laniak, PT, DPT, OCS, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Youth Soccer: What’s the Goal?

This fall, young athletes will line up on soccer fields with new cleats, uniforms, teammates, and coaches. But for many, fall isn’t the beginning of a season — it’s merely the continuation of playing youth soccer year-round. The sports epidemic of specializing in one sport too early (under the age of 12), has been widely publicized. However, these days it’s more than likely that you and your young athlete spent most of your summer at travel soccer tournaments, team camps, and soccer preseason. I know, I’ve been there with you. I’m a mother of four boys and a travel youth soccer coach for my 10-year-old. And I very often grapple with my reality of raising a soccer family and my professional responsibility as a pediatric sports medicine physical therapist. When I integrate my current daily life with my former life, as a collegiate soccer player, I totally understand the perspective of the […]

Sports Specialization or Variety: Which Is Better for Kids? - From the experts at Nemours

Sports Specialization or Variety: Which Is Better for Kids?

As the seasons change, we all look forward to an exciting change of pace. With fall comes the bombarding of pumpkin spice, red and yellow hues, and, of course, — football. Remember when we could associate all seasons with specific sports? Fall — football and soccer. Winter — basketball and swimming. Spring — baseball and lacrosse. But more and more athletes are pursuing the opportunities that year-round sports specialization training provides. Long gone are the days of children playing a favorite sport for only a couple months a year. As parents invest more time and money into sports, the pressure to maximize their children’s opportunities for success is higher than ever. This often means dropping secondary sports at a younger age so that children can focus more on the sports at which they excel.  Parents and children may feel they’re expected to dedicate nine to 12 months out of the year […]

Playing outside improves kids' vision

Outdoor Play Helps Keep Kids’ Vision in Focus

By now we all know the benefits of kids playing outside: The physical activity, exposure to vitamin D, as well as the development of thinking, motor, and social skills, and even stress reduction. But did you ever think it could improve your kids’ vision? What is myopia? The American Academy of Ophthalmology defines myopia, commonly referred to as “nearsightedness,” as “an eye focusing disorder in which close objects look clear, but distant objects appear blurred.” It is the No. 1 reason kids need glasses. Myopia usually occurs in school-age children right around the onset of puberty, and generally slows or stops progressing in the mid to late teens. About 30 percent of the U.S. population has myopia. While it’s believed to be an inherited condition, the progression of myopia can actually be affected by the way people use their eyes. Those who spend a lot of time reading, working at a […]

Parents’ Active Lifestyle Helps Kids Be Active Too, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Parents’ Active Lifestyle Helps Kids Be Active, Too

If you start to take weekly bike rides with your second-grader or go on daily walks with your teen, chances are, the drive to exercise just might start to kick in. A recent study by researchers at Northwestern University found that kids tend to copy their parents’ unhealthy habits. Now this doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to your chill time too, such as sitting and reading a book or playing cheap PC games once in a while. Everyone is entitled to spend some time each day chilling out and doing what they enjoy. However, showing your children that a small amount of exercise each day is important will benefit them in the long run. So your example might have more of an effect than you think. Although some issues such as obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can be genetic, they are also affected by lifestyle. The study found […]

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