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Helping Your Kids Take Full Advantage of Summer

Your kids don’t have to join a gym, go to camp or participate in organized sports to stay active and physically fit during the summer months. Here are some tips to get your kids up and moving while school is out:

  • Set limits for watching television and recreational computer use.
  • Plan family activities that involve walking - a trip to the zoo, a hike, a visit to the local park or a day at the beach (walking on the sand is great exercise). Younger kids will enjoy running around the playground.
  • Organize active games that your kids will enjoy: play tag, catch or hopscotch; kick a ball around; jump rope; ride bikes; or go swimming together.
  • Take advantage of the extra daylight during the summer and make after-dinner walks around the block part of your daily routine.
  • If your family enjoys going to the mall, park far away from the entrance so you have to walk. Walking briskly in the mall is also good exercise.
  • Assign everyday active chores, such as making beds, washing the car, gardening or vacuuming.
  • Turn on the sprinkler and let your kids run through the spray. It’s good exercise and a great way to stay cool.
  • When you’re out, take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible to get your kids in the habit.
  • Act as a role model — be an example for your kids. Don’t expect them to be active if you’re not.

At least an hour of physical activity most days of the week is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. But remember that exercise is cumulative, so kids don’t have to do 30 minutes or an hour at a time to reap the health benefits. Even short five- or ten-minute activity sessions throughout the day are beneficial.

More Information at Your Fingertips:

  • Want to learn more about family-style fitness? Join us for Keeping Your Family Healthy and Active: An Afternoon Dedicated to Your Family’s Health and Well-Being on Sunday, June 4, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. This free program will feature a wealth of health, fitness and lifestyle advice from specialists at Rush; fun, healthy activities for parents and kids; and a special keynote address by celebrity fitness trainer Jim Karas. For more information, visit the Rush Web site at or call (888) 352-RUSH (7874).
  • For more information about care for children and adolescents at Rush visit the Rush Children’s Hospital home page.
  • Or phone (888) RUSH-KID or (888) 787-4543.</.I>
  • Looking for a doctor? Call toll free: 888 352-RUSH (7874)

Please note: All physicians featured in Discover Rush are on the medical faculty of Rush University Medical Center. Some of the physicians featured are in private practice and, as independent practitioners, are not agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center.

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