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The biggest misconception about physical activity

In school there is often a big divide… the kids that love any and every type of sport meaning P.E. is one of their favourite subjects… then those who loathe their weekly hour of torture and will come up with the most innovative excuses to get out of it, (besides my dinosaur ate it).

The biggest misconception about physical activity is that you need to be sporty to be active. With obesity levels in the UK still rising and a higher percentage of children leaving school as obese than when starting, physical activity is becoming more important. Children age 5 years and older need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day

For some children less interested/passionate/talented in sport they may feel the only other option is to sit still and binge on the unlimited sources of technology we now have at our fingertips. This is far from the case so put down the screen and pick up your shoes and get moving!

So what is physical activity?

Any bodily movement involving movement of the skeleton and muscles that requires energy expenditure.

How can I increase my child’s physical activity levels?

Incorporating activity into your daily family life:

  • walking to school
  • walking to the shops
  • active play (playing chase, skipping, roller blading, frisbee, dancing, riding a bike- the list is endless)
  • my personal favourite was the hot lava game, although I’m not sure my mum appreciated me and my sister jumping all over her sofas!

Of course if you child does wish to try out individual or team sports these could be practised at home… football, hockey, rugby, netball, basketball, tennis, athletics, karate, swimming,

Kara, Keon and Kadie with Saffron mum and Kev on coloured balls.

The benefits of physical activity are not limited to healthy weight management. Check out the following:

  • helps to build and maintain healthy bones and muscles
  • promote psychological well being
  • positive influence on concentration levels at school
  • reduce risk of chronic disease

Next Steps

If you feel you and your baby or child would benefit from one of the above session please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Niamh Gilligan

About the author...

Niamh is our committed Specialist Paediatric Dietitian who has experience in both the NHS and private sectors. She understands the complex needs of each individual child and their family to provide patient centred care which is results-focused, evidence based and personable.

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