Keeping kids active in the COVID-19 era

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bts fitness.PNG

Summertime and the living is easy for 8 -year-old Rex.

Swimming, kayaking, and biking are among the things keeping Rex active this summer.

Mom, Laura Bentz says, even when the pandemic shut down schools during the cold days of march, Rex was always up to break a sweat, "We started going for walks together and we would call them 'quest walks'. We'd make it fun. We'd take sticks and staffs, and he would like to pretend like we were wizards or sorcerers or something."

Making it fun, is rule number one of keeping kids active.

McLaren's Dr. Uzma Khan says it starts with finding activities your child likes, "You have to know your child, and you have to gear the activity towards your child's needs and the attitude."

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids five and older get an hour of structured physical activity every day.

At least three of those days every week, the activity should be moderate to vigorous.

"We're talking about anything. It can be simple walking, running, swimming, a lot of different activities," Dr. Khan says.

Getting that daily activity is about much more than taking care of a child's physcial health.

"It's both physical, mental and emotional developing that we're talking about," Khan says.

"Just to get rid of that energy and anxiety that kids have," Laura says, "And it's just a natural way to calm them down and get them focused and ready to work."

But you have to get kids to do it and, while fun is a great motivator, your own attitude towards getting active is also important, Dr. Khan says, "If you as a parent are involved in any activity, the chances are that your child is going to be doing that activity, and more happily."

Which is why, Laura is up for any adventure with her child under the sun , and even, she says, in the dead of winter, "I take him to one of the parks and we would sled down hills there. When the ice freezes over, we like to get out on the ice and just kind of walk across the lake a little ways, build a snowman, or make snow angels, snow ball fights."

All with one thing in mind: Keeping Rex healthy and happy, especially while he's stuck at home.

For more ideas for kid's fitness, you might want to check out this website.