Saturday, June 2, 2012

Age-Appropriate Activities

The best way for kids to get physical activity is by incorporating physical activity into their daily routine. Toddlers and preschoolers should play actively several times a day. Children 6 to 17 years should do 60 minutes or more physical activity daily. This can include free play at home, active time at school, and participation in classes or organized sports.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Exercising During the Day Makes Bedtime Okay

Kids can be moody.  Toddlers assert their independence by saying “no”  to whatever you tell them to do.  Even when it comes to sleeping at night, they shout back a resounding “No!”  Well, when the old tricks in the book do not work anymore, like warm milk and bedtime stories, here’s a new technique scientifically supported that might just help you with your bedtime dilemma.

Exercise! No, not you, but your kid.  However, joining him or her would be a good idea, too.

In New Zealand, a study discovered that school-aged kids who are physically active during the day fall asleep faster than their friends who lead a more sedentary lifestyle.  In the Archives of Disease in Childhood online, this study was published and has followed 519 children with a mean age of 7.3 years.

They found out that a child’s sleep latency is increased by 3.1 minutes for every hour a child was sedentary.

Actually, even without a study, parents would know what we’re talking about here.  Some of you parents reading this might recall that time when you allowed your kids to play all they want at the playground or swimming pool to “wear them out.”

Dr. David Rapoport, New York University Sleep Disorders Center director, told Forbes sedentary children may just need less sleep:

“I see this as something which we were designed by nature to do. The purpose of sleep is to recover from activity, and what this is showing is that that link is quite tight in the child. If the child exercises, they need more sleep and they get it more easily.”