The Ultimate Guide to Physical Activity Before and After School
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The Ultimate Guide to Physical Activity Before and After School

Creating a safe environment that’s also filled with physical activity before and after school is vital to a child’s health and well-being. We mean this on both a physical and a mental level. An active body is a healthy body, and a healthy body aids in maintaining a healthy mind! This is true across all ages, so we’re talking to every parent out there right now.

In order to make this whole parenting journey easier for you, we put together the ultimate guide to physical activity before and after school!

Here’s what’s covered:

  • Should kids be physically active before school even begins?
  • Why is it important for kids to participate in various sports after school?
  • Best physical activities for before and after school
  • How do you convince your kids to join after school activities?

Let’s get into it!


Tackling Physical Activity Before and After School


Should Kids be Physically Active Before School Even Begins?

Whether or not your child is active before that school bell rings is really up to you and your child. There is no hard and fast rule for this popular question. However, it is thought that physical activity first thing in the morning does get the brain pumping and ready to take on the day.

For example, if you have ever gone to the gym first thing in the morning, or even just for a walk, you’ve likely noticed something when you get home. You feel more awake! This is because you’ve gotten the blood pumping through your body and those happy hormones revving. This concept applies to school-aged kids as well. So, theoretically, it can be helpful to encourage physical activity before and after school for your kids. What you don’t want to do is force your kids into this though, they know their bodies best!


Why is it Important for Kids to Participate in Various Sports After School?

Supporting physical activity before and after school is highly beneficial for your child. However, it begs a couple of questions:

  1. How many after school activities should my child partake in?
  2. Why is it important for kids to participate in various sports after school?

The thing is, it’s not so much about participating in multiple sports after school, but rather something after school. As far as maintaining physical activity after school, school sanctioned sports are often your best bet. Kids of all ages can get involved in after school sports like cheerleading, football (or flag-football), basketball, baseball, etc.

Participating in after school sports has numerous benefits for your child. Let’s break down the top 5:

  1. Enhances physical fitness – obviously, sports require your kiddo to be physically active. This enhances their physical fitness level, keeps them in shape, increases their strength and cardiovascular health, and more.
  2. Teaches teamwork – Regardless of age, working together as a part of a team is a skill that anyone can enhance. After school sports are an incredible way to enhance this skill.
  3. Helps with socialization skills – If you have a child who veers more towards the shy and introverted side, encouraging physical activity before and after school may help them! This is of course specific to the child, never force them into a sport. However, if they’re showing interest, encourage it!
  4. Aids in learning how to respect authority – Another skill that can always be improved is learning how to respect authority. After school sports are an excellent way to doing so! When there is a coach that your kid must listen to and take orders from, they learn about respect naturally.
  5. Gets that extra energy out before heading home – This is particularly helpful for younger kids or for anyone with hyperactivity disorders like ADHD. Sometimes, they just need to get that extra energy out and after school sports are a phenomenal opportunity for that!

Just remember, you don’t want to enroll your kids in so many after school sports that they end up with burn out. You want to keep in mind that they do still have homework, a social life, and their mental health to maintain!

*Pro Tip* Make sure your kids are enrolled in after school activities that are actually fun! This will keep them engaged and make them more likely to want to be physically active after school!


Best Options for Physical Activity Before and After School

There is a plethora of ways your kids can be physically active. What you want to focus on is options that your child will enjoy. This sometimes takes a little bit of trial and error, but we put together a few starting points for you!

Physical Activity Before School

  • Morning stretching
  • Try yoga videos online
  • A walk or jog around the block
  • Swimming (best for high schoolers who can drive)
  • A quick HIIT workout at home (make it fun for younger kids!)
  • Hitting the gym before school begins


Physical Activity After School

  • School-run sports like football, basketball, cheerleading, lacrosse, softball, etc.
  • Private-run sports like tennis, swim team, Jiu-Jitsu, or Karate
  • Dance classes
  • Gymnastics
  • Pilates workouts
  • Bike riding

There are tons of ways to encourage physical activity before and after school. Make sure you check out our explore page to find some after school activities in your area!


How do You Convince Your Kids to Join After School Activities?

Before we close out the article, it’s important to touch on this topic. There are so many kids who are shy, nervous, antisocial, or are just not used to or are uninterested in physical activity. Sound familiar? How do you convince your kids to join after school activities in this situation?

Well, you have a few options, but we recommend just…talking to them. Start there. Find out what the underlying reason is that they don’t want to engage in physical activity before and after school. Then, you can find out ways to convince them otherwise. You could talk to them about their fears, offer them incentives for trying, time frames, etc.


Final Thoughts on Physical Activity Before and After School

Promoting and encouraging physical activity before and after school has a wide variety of benefits. From enhancing self esteem to forming new friendships to general health and wellness, it’s never a bad idea! Talk to your kids about what kind of physical activity interests them and let them try out a variety of options!

Looking for some additional physical activity options? Check out these resources!