Sunday, September 2, 2012

Some Age-Based Advice

Preschoolers: Preschoolers need play and exercise that helps them continue to develop important motor skills — kicking or throwing a ball, playing tag or follow the leader, hopping on one foot, riding a trike or bike with training wheels, freeze dancing, or running obstacle courses.
Although some sports leagues may be open to kids as young as 4, organized and team sports are not recommended until they're a little older. Preschoolers can't understand complex rules and often lack the attention span, skills, and coordination needed to play sports. Instead of learning to play a sport, they should work on fundamental skills.
School-age: With school-age kids spending more time on sedentary pursuits like watching TV and playing computer games, the challenge for parents is to help them find physical activities they enjoy and feel successful doing. These can range from traditional sports like baseball and basketball to martial arts, biking, hiking, and playing outside.
As kids learn basic skills and simple rules in the early school-age years, there might only be a few athletic standouts. As kids get older, differences in ability and personality become more apparent. Commitment and interest level often go along with ability, which is why it's important to find an activity that's right for your child. Schedules start getting busy during these years, but don't forget to set aside some time for free play.
Teenagers: Teens have many choices when it comes to being active — from school sports to after-school interests, such as yoga or skateboarding. It's important to remember that physical activity must be planned and often has to be sandwiched between various responsibilities and commitments.
Do what you can to make it easy for your teen to exercise by providing transportation and the necessary gear or equipment (including workout clothes). In some cases, the right clothes and shoes might help a shy teen feel comfortable biking or going to the gym.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Nutrition for Active Kids

Fluids: Wetter is Better
Taking in enough water and other fluids is key to good sport performance. Water helps to cool the body during sport and also transports nutrients through the body.
Children have relatively high fluid needs. For example, nine- to 13-year-old children who are not overly active at least 2.1 to 2.4 litres of fluid each day. Active children will need more than these amounts.
Children don’t always know that they are thirsty. As a result, they may not take in enough water. Intense physical activity can also blunt or tone down feelings of thirst, making it especially challenging for active children to drink enough.
Fight dehydration (or a lack of fluid) by encouraging your child to drink water before during and after sport.
Give your children a water bottle to sip from when they are not active.Encourage your children to bring a water bottle to all exercise or sporting activities. Remind them to take a break every 10 to 15 minutes when they’re exercising to drink. Make sure that water is available after games or practices.
Water works! Plain, cool water is the best source of fluid during sports or other activities that last less than one hour.Fluid replacement beverages or sport drinks can be used during intense sports or activities that last more than one hour. Keep in mind that these drinks are high in sugar and shouldn’t be offered when your child is not active.
Discuss the symptoms of dehydration (or lack of fluid) with your child. Common symptoms include headache, fatigue, thirst, nausea, vomiting, chills and feeling faint.
If your child has these symptoms, he or she should tell the coach and stop playing or exercising.