Exercise and Physical Fitness: Parents' Role
As with all societal problems, the schools can't do it all. Parents can do much to instill awareness of fitness in the primary-age child. We caution, however, that parents must remember that if it is not fun, children won't do it. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents do the following:
- Incorporate fitness activities into the family lifestyle.
- Introduce children to a variety of athletic activities, they are easily bored.
- Become involved with your children's activities by either playing a sport with them or coaching a team.
- If safe, encourage your child to walk to school or take a shorter bus ride and walk part way.
- Encourage after-school activities and limit TV viewing during this time.
- Set a good example.
The 6- to 8-year-old has everything to gain by being physically fit. Exercise boosts self-image and improves physical strength and stamina as well as scholastic performance.
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