Encouraging exercise in juvenile arthritics

If your child has juvenile arthritis, even though exercise is good for them and their joints, the pain it causes often discourages them from doing it. Here are five tips to help keep your child moving.

Encouraging exercise in juvenile arthritics

1. Establish reasonable routines

  • After talking with your child's doctor or physical therapist, pick exercises that challenge him or her without being so hard that they get frustrated.
  • Start slowly, and build up to more challenging stretches and routines.
  • However, you also need to take each day individually. What your child could handle yesterday may not be comfortable for them today.

2. Make exercise fun

  • No child, or adult for that matter, wants a drill sergeant standing over them shouting instructions for jumping jacks. If possible, make the exercises into a game, or make up a story to go with them.
  • If a child is having fun, they will be more inclined to continue and will be distracted from any possible discomfort.
  • Props are another way to make exercise more fun. Who didn't love playing with the parachute toy or blanket toss in gym class? By adding in routines that use ribbons, balls, scooters, or other items, your child will be "playing" in no time.

3. Change the routine

  • Boredom is another big exercise deterrent for kids. If they do the same things over and over, they will soon lose interest.
  • Out of the list of exercises recommended by the doctor, pick a few to do each day. Perhaps pick one section of the body to work on at a time.
  • This will also help muscles recover from the stretching more quickly.

4. Switch up the location

  • While your living room may be a comfortable place to do sit ups, it certainly isn't very entertaining. By changing the locations of the workouts, you can make sure your child has plenty to look at and look forward to each day.
  • Combining workouts with fun excursions acts as a built-in reward system.
  • For example, if your child loves the zoo, exercise in the picnic area or an open spot in the zoo, and then go look at the animals when you're done.

5. Let your child pick

  • By giving your child some control over what activities he or she wants to do on a given day, you help them take responsibility for their own body. This will teach them great habits that will last a lifetime.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu