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Encourage Lifelong Fitness Early

Mayo Clinic staff share some insights for parents to think about when exposing children to sports.  Beyond the common reasons why parents want their children to play sports, Mayo Clinic recommends sports playing and kid-friendly physical activities as a gateway to lifelong fitness.

Introduce your children to physical activity, either with your own interests or experimenting with new activities or sports that your child seems naturally drawn to.  Here are some age appropriate activities for youngsters:

Ages 2-5

  • Running
  • Tumbling
  • Throwing
  • Catching
  • Swimming

Ages 6-9

  • T-ball, softball or baseball
  • Running
  • Soccer
  • Gymnastics
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Martial arts

As you introduce your child to different physical activities, be positive and encouraging.  Take note of your child’s enjoyment level and natural aptitudes as they try new activities and support them in the direction that they are most comfortable in.  Don’t forget that not all children are drawn to organized sports, be sure to encourage and promote physical activties be it an organized sport or other activities like hiking and biking.  Whatever choice your child makes, make it a point to find the time to support or participate with them in their physical activity of choice.

For details: Children and sports: Choices for all ages

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