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Back to School: Top 10 Tips for Active & Healthy Kids

Here are some of The Physio Company’s top tips to help your children maintain an active and healthy lifestyle as they prepare to go back to school…

It is recommended that everyone should be exercising at least an hour a day but exercising doesn’t have to be the chore that it sounds like! An hour exercise a day, along with good food is an easy way to help keep fit and healthy. Here are some ways to make sure you’re keeping active and taking care of your body while still having fun…

1)    Getting to School – Instead of taking the car or bus, encourage your friends who live near you to walk or cycle to school together. After a healthy breakfast, exercise before school will help stimulate your brain cells so you are ready for class

2)    Lunch Time Activities – Your lunch time break should help take your mind away from the classroom during the day. Being active during your break by taking part in mini-basketball games in the yard or fun racing games will distract you from the confusions of math’s class or the complications of history class!

3)    School Bags – School bags filled with heavy books often cause bad back pain. Usually this is due to inappropriate bags or not carrying the bag correctly. Do a quick check of your bag to make sure it has 2 wide straps, that it is no bigger than your back and that it has adjustable shoulder and waist straps. Also only carry what you really need and don’t carry your bag when you don’t have to (e.g. when waiting for your bus)

4)    Posture – Being active helps protect your back by keeping your bones and muscles fit and strong. Bad posture can lead to severe back pain. In school try to sit right into your chair with a straight back. Stand up and stretch in long classes to prevent getting stiff and sore

5)    Nutrition & Hydration – Kick-start your energy with quality food and drink. Keep hydrated with plenty of water to avoid slowing down and getting tired. Eating a good breakfast and lunch will keep you energized and help you concentrate throughout the day

6)    Sports Clubs – Sports clubs are a great way to get active, either through individual or team sports. Team exercises such as football, rugby, GAA and individual sports such as tennis and swimming, are great for keeping fit as well as being a great social scene, with club weekends away and celebratory parties!

7)    Dance! – If sports aren’t for you, dance classes are a great, fun way to exercise. There are a number of different classes such as ballet, Irish dancing, hip hop and gymnastics. Yoga and Pilates are also a great way to strengthen your muscles and help promote good posture

8)    Outdoor Games – Outdoor games are a fun way to exercise with friends. Getting out, away from the TV, will refresh your mind, help you sleep better and keep you active, while also having fun with your friends!

9)    Walk the dog – This may be one of your household chores but why not make it fun! Get your friends out with their dogs and go for a walk (or run!) together. Or simply bring the dog out to the garden for a run around; your dog will enjoy it just as much as you!

10) Make It Routine – It’s easy to start new sports and hobbies but sometimes it’s just as easy to drop them! You may start off with 5 different hobbies but gradually realise they aren’t for you. Everyone is different, some people like team sports while others prefer individual sports. Once you find the one that suits you, it may become more of a lifestyle rather than a hobby for you.

Time to get out and get active, it’s more fun than you think!