SMArt Kids are Active Kids

| Posted On Dec 27, 2012 | By:

With the winter rapidly approaching, we decided to highlight the importance of exercise in our recent SMArt Kids’ shared medical appointment (SMA). Many of our SMArt Kids have already done a great job with this goal: one SMArt kid swims four times per week and another SMArt kid ran a recent 5K road race with his mother!  No matter what you do today, we all need to keep this goal a priority now, when the winter months make it more challenging to achieve.

Rachel Handren, one of the physical therapists at Burlington, started the session with fun and sweat. She led our SMArt kids in some simple and effective exercises they can easily do at home. She reviewed stretching, core strengthening and the use of resistance bands. Many of the SMArt kids plan to use these new exercises at home over the next month. And remember: you don’t need a lot of equipment to stay active.  Try a wall sit during TV commercials, sit-ups before breakfast or use your front steps (simple step ups) for some of your sixty minutes per day of active play.

SMArt Kids need at least one hour of active play per day. This should be 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity.  When you think about a full day, that is only 60 minutes out of 1440 minutes – sounds easy, right? And remember the 60 minutes can be divided into smaller chunks of time. Try 10 minutes of active play in the yard while waiting for dinner, consider a 10-minute walk after each meal, or ride your bike for 10 minutes after your homework is done. Being active helps you sleep better, feel better, be stronger and healthier, and even think better!

Here are some simple ways to be active in your daily life:

Remember, you can also burn calories and stay active by doing small things throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Help Mom and Dad with chores like sweeping or vacuuming.  Ask your parent to park a little farther from the store when doing errands. Also try more standing and less sitting!

Not sure which physical activity is best for you? Try the online quiz from the CDC website. It helps find some activities that best fit your personality.  I completed the quiz and ended up with an interesting list: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Gymnastics, Ice Hockey, Jogging, Kickboxing and Lacrosse. See what you come up with!

With all of this physical activity, stay hydrated. But remember: water is the best choice.  The American Academy of Pediatrics’ stance on sports and energy drinks is that it discourages the use of these drinks (Gatorade, Propel, etc.) given the risk of excessive calorie consumption and dental erosion.  Instead, it promotes water as the main source of hydration for children and adolescents.  In addition, the policy strongly states that children or teens should never consume energy drinks, due to their stimulant content.  Bottom line? Drink water when exercising.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone back after the holidays.  We will be learning about healthy and delicious ways to eat and prepare vegetables!  Until then, keep moving!

Brittanny Boulanger, MD

 

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About Dr. Brittanny Boulanger

Joined Harvard Vanguard: 2005 Undergraduate School: Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH Medical School: University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA Internship: Golisano Children's Hospital, Rochester, NY Residency: Golisano Children's Hospital, Rochester, NY Board Certification: Pediatrics Hospital Affiliations: Children's Hospital, Boston, MA; Winchester Hospital, Winchester, MA Clinical Interests: Newborn medicine and adolescent medicine Personal Interests: Running, soccer, hiking, skiing, travel and spending time with her two young children.

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