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Physical Activity as a Stress-Relief Tool for Kids

Updated: Feb 6


Written By: Dr. Irma J. Rosa Cains

We live in a remarkably busy world with busy agendas. We all feel stress, even our children; however, they do not always know how to express it. Sometimes stress is manifested in poor sleep patterns, meltdowns, behavior changes, and physical symptoms.

It is especially important we do not overlook signs of stress in our children and develop outlets for them to relieve their stress. Physical activity is one of the strategies used to address tension and anxiety positively. So, Let's MOVE!

First Step: Don’t set unattainable expectations.

You don’t need to devote extended periods of time to exercise with your children. It is recommended for children to have a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity per day. You can break that into 2 30-minute sessions, 4 15-minute sessions, 6 -10-minute sessions, or whatever “distribution” of time works for you and your child.

Second Step: Find an activity that your child enjoys. Go outside!

Some fun activities are:

  • Jumping

  • Hula Hooping

  • Walking

  • Biking

  • Swimming

  • Yoga

Third Step:  Use physical activity as a bonding time with your child.

Be present! Put your phone or tablet away and interact with your child. Make eye contact. Take turns. Have Fun. Be Creative. You or your child can make a fun game out of any physical activity. Challenge your child to a hula hoop contest and see who can hula hoop the longest while standing like a flamingo

Fourth Step: Have FUN!

Allow yourself to enjoy those precious moments together. Be silly! Get Creative. Laughter is considered an effective relaxation technique.

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