Get Moving! The Best Sports to Play With Kids
Need a few good reasons to play with your kids? Recess and gym have been cut way back, biking to school is ancient history and free time these days is usually spent with a screen. “Playing with our kids promotes a healthy habit of fitness—one that can last a lifetime,” explains Ashanti Woods, M.D., a pediatrician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Here’s how:
Soccer: This is a good pick for kids three to six years of age because the rules are straightforward, and it’s a great cardiovascular workout. Skip formal sidelines and a goalie for now and practice the basics: dribbling, passing, kicking and throw-ins.
Biking: By age five or six, kids are ready for a two-wheeler (don’t forget a helmet!). If there isn’t a bike path in your area, head to a local park or quiet neighborhood. As your child gets older, choose hillier and more challenging terrain.
Play catch: Using a baseball, tennis ball or football will improve hand-eye coordination and strengthen arm muscles; learning this skill also helps kids get ready for team tryouts. This activity can be done everywhere—in the park, backyard, or driveway.
Shoot hoops: Most neighborhoods have a public basketball court, so grab a ball and some sneakers. If you can’t round up a couple of extra kids to play, one-on-one games are great, too. Practice free throws, jump shots and passing as you go over some infractions of the game (fouling, traveling).
By Jennifer Kelly Geddes
Inspired to break a sweat? Check out Heidi Powell's tips for the best at-home workout in our slideshow above.
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