8 Ways Kids Can Stay Healthy Over Summer
Combat childhood obesity with expert health tips from Charlotte Country Day School's full-time, nationally certified athletic trainers.
Spring is emerging, and summer is right around the corner. Keeping active during the summer is especially crucial for today’s youth—childhood obesity is prevalent in America, and the invention of smartphones hasn’t exactly encouraged kids to entertain themselves outdoors.
To help your child—of any age—stay healthy over summer, Charlotte Country Day School‘s four full-time, nationally certified athletic trainers have provided their expert advice. For a fit and fun summer for everyone, heed these health and wellness tips below.
Tips from Athletic Trainers to Stay Healthy Over Summer
1. Don’t skimp on sleep.
“Get plenty of sleep,” Stephanie Miller, Head Athletic Trainer, says. That means at least eight hours per night. Sleep is one of the most underrated parts of staying fit, strong, and healthy. Additionally, Monica Erb, Charlotte Country Day’s Associate Director of Athletics, dispels a common myth: “There is no such thing as ‘catching up’ on missed sleep,” she says. Don’t miss out on this crucial recovery time, even if summer schedules deviate from the norm.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
“Drink plenty of water before, during, and after activity,” Erb says. “Water is the best hydrator!” She is also the Country Day’s Director of Sports Medicine. Erb explains, “You do not necessarily need sports drinks,” so consider saying goodbye to Gatorade for a few months. Ultimately, water will be the best refreshment during a hot Charlotte summer.
3. Keep an open mind.
Your child may be a basketball fanatic, but that doesn’t mean he or she should only shoot hoops for exercise. Erb says, “Play multiple sports, even if it is not your “primary” sport. Not only does this prevent overuse injuries and burnout, but it develops athleticism, and helps kids become better teammates.” Plus, you never know if a new interest will be uncovered.
4. Work fitness into your schedule.
Sometimes, all you need is a little routine to keep you on track. You can knock out two tasks at once by registering your child for one or many of Charlotte Country Day’s athletic summer programs. The camp sessions take place on the Bissell Campus at 5936 Green Rea Road, located four miles from main Cannon Campus off of Carmel Road), and there is a wide variety of programs totaling more than 150 creative classes and challenging sports camps.
The camps run from June 3 to August 9, 2019, and they range from one to four weeks as well as half-day, full-day, morning, and afternoon camp options. From rising grades Junior Kindergarten to eighth, kids can stay fit this summer with programs such as Guru Girls Yoga, BUCS Baseball Basics, Tennis Camp, and more. Of course, certified athletic trainers will be on-site during sports camp hours (and during any team sports practices throughout the year). Plus, Country Day arranges for a bus transportation service and before- and after-camp care.
5. Stay moving.
Don’t get it confused—you do not need to play a sport to be active daily. In fact, there are plenty of ways kids can stay moving, and staying active no matter what is key to a healthy summer. Get outside and keep moving to work fitness into your lifestyle. You do not have to be a superstar athlete to be healthy!
6. Stretch more.
Part of focusing on fitness means taking care of our bodies while they’re resting. Much like adequate sleep is important for our bodies to recover, so is stretching, according to Assistant Athletic Trainer Mike Hervis. “We see many injuries come through our doors that could have been mitigated by more consistent stretching,” he says. “We often give athletes stretches they can do throughout the day with little to no interruption to their daily routine, such as sitting in class while doing a hip stretch.”
If stretching is ignored, your child could become injured, taking the fun and fitness out of summer 2019.
7. Fuel your body.
It’s an age-old piece of advice for a reason: It works. “Eat breakfast every day,” Erb urges, “and do not skip meals.” Children should be fueling their bodies appropriately for any activity, especially in the summertime when temperatures are high and days are long. Erb says, “Make sure to eat a variety of foods from all food groups. If you have practices or games after school, bring a snack.”
8. Trade tablets for activity.
Lastly, Jason Farmer, the Middle School’s athletic trainer, chimes in: “Put down the tablets and smartphones—not just the kids, but parents as well—and just do something active for 30 to 60 minutes a day.” He says “something active” could be anything from a pick-up soccer game with friends to shooting hoops in the backyard with parents, siblings, or even solo. “Being active helps to strengthen both our mind and body,” Farmer says, “which, in turn, makes us healthier people.”
Charlotte Country Day School’s sports medicine program is focused on the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries for all of their Middle School, JV, and Varsity student-athletes. As healthcare professionals, the four full-time, licensed, and nationally certified athletic trainers work directly with physicians and other specialists to optimize medical care. Staff members are available during normal school hours and after school, and are present at all home events and practices.
To register your child for Country Day’s 2019 Summer Programs, click here. You can call the Summer Program Office with any questions at 704-943-4648.