Ester Marsh: As school starts, keep your child active
Now that school has started, be sure to keep your child active. Many kids were very active this summer, whether it was being in summer camp, at the pool, going to the beach or playing ball at the Y.
With school starting this week, let’s make sure we keep our kids physically active. Your child can get involved in school sports as a sixth-grader. A great way to keep your child active is through playing sports.
I also like that you have to keep a certain grade point average to play school sports, so typically, that motivates a child to do well in school.
The same thing goes for high school. Try to get your child involved in something in which they are active. Sitting for long periods of time is now considered to be the new smoking, and we know how bad smoking is for your health. It doesn’t always have to be sports — band, drama and FFA (just to name a few) are also active after-school activities.
What if your child isn’t interested or it just doesn’t work in his schedule? Our county has become more active each year, and that makes me happy. Even at Salisbury Community Park, I can tell the difference. More people and schools are using our beautiful trails. At our Ys, we have fall soccer signups until Sept. 8 and girls volleyball (grades four through eight).
Does your child love to swim? Our RAC swim team has a parent information meeting on at 6:45 p.m. Thursday with many options available. The first two weeks is a free, no-commitment trial period.
Our Hurley YMCA Warriors youth cross country team started last week, but if your child (minimum age is 8, and kids must have running experience) is interested, it’s not too late to join.
Salisbury Parks and Recreation has all kinds of awesome programs in which your child can be active. How about working out with your child? Some people don’t know what age kids can start working out with weights; a rule of thumb when I work with young children is that I never go over their body weight.
Does that mean they should lift 70 pounds if they weigh that much? Not particularly, but maybe for squats after they have slowly worked themselves into a weight-training program. In the weight room, I try to look at activities that I (and many of you readers) used to do as a child and mimic them in the weight room. Activities that involve lots of pulling, pushing, squatting and lifting are good.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, it is hard to let your child roam the neighborhood and play and be active with their friends, especially at a young age. It’s up to us parents, and many times grandparents and guardians, to help and guide our children to stay or become active.
But it is doable. It takes some research to see what’s available, planning how to make it work and, as Nike says, just do it!
Let’s keep our kids active. It’s not only good for their health, it will help them with school, too.
Ester H. Marsh is health and fitness director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA.
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