Help youth find ways to stay active after school

Healthy youth are more likely to become healthy adults; encourage youth to find afterschool activities that keep them active, healthy and engaged.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services, youth need to be active 60 minutes a day in order to maintain a healthy weight, reduce their likelihood to develop Type II Diabetes and build stronger bones and muscles.

Many studies indicate that youth spend less time outside than they were 30 years in the past. One thing youth can do to start being more active is to pick up a sport that keeps them physically active. Sports and sports teams usually have some sort of practice that help youth further develop their skills and muscular endurance. These sports include football, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, basketball, hockey, softball and track.

Although these are team sports, they won’t spark the interest of all youth. Some may be interested in skateboarding, rollerblading, running, bike riding, gymnastics, swimming, hiking, fishing or canoeing – these are also activities that will keep youth physically active. Youth have to find their niche in their communities to figure out what it has to offer and what is available to them to stay or become physically active. Parents can help by seeking out resources in the community through their local city hall or parks and recreation department.

Youth generally want to be active, and some youth need a little motivation to be physically active. Parents can also encourage youth to be physically active by making it a part of the child’s daily routine. Share with youth the benefits of being healthy and help them work it into their schedules. It could be that it becomes a family routine, an opportunity for families to spend time together doing something fun and physically active.

Now-a-days, it has become a staple for youth to spend countless hours on their computers, phones or playing video games. Adults, parents, teachers and mentors can empower youth to be active and do physical activities that keep them healthy in the years to come.

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