Physical Activity

A Nurse Practitioners Note on Physical Activity

Michael Ann Vaughn is a graduate of the University of Washington’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program, specializing in Pediatric Primary Care. She completed the LEND Fellowship (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) through UW to focus on her passion for working with children who have ASD and neurodevelopmental disorders. She earned her BSN from Montana State University in Missoula, MT. Her nursing experience includes working at Valley Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

She is excited about the opportunity primary care offers to improve the health and lives of children and their families by providing support, resources and medical attention.

Benefits of physically active:

• Strengthen bones and muscles

• Maintain appropriate weight

• Improve sleep 

• Improve school performance

• Decrease risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety, depression 

• Important for growth and development


Tips for Physical Activity

• Kids 6-17 years old should have at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day at a moderate to vigorous level 

• Moderate physical activity: breathing faster than normal, starting to sweat after 10 minutes of the activity. Example: brisk walk 

• Vigorous physical activity: breathing deep and rapid, sweating after a few minutes of the activity. Example: running 

Make it fun! Show kids being active is part of every day and that it’s something to enjoy. This will help them continue healthy habits as they get older 

Mix things up! Throw in different ways to be active, and use it as an opportunity to spend time together as a family 


WEEKLY FAMILY CHALLENGE! Create an obstacle course! Indoor or outdoor. Get creative with the obstacles (keep safety in mind). 

  • Jump over a towel
  • Walk on a line made of tape
  • Run around cones or cups
  • Jump to touch object taped to ceiling
  • Crawl under a table
  • Throw a ball to hit a target
  • Tip-toe through scattered socks
  • Make a section “walk like a crab,” or “hop like a frog”
  • Add hopscotch to the course
  • “Happy dance” station
  •  Victory shout at the finish line

 References:1. Mayo Clinic. Exercise Intensity: How to Measure it. Updated June 12, 2018. Accessed January 9, 2019. 2. HealthyKids. Motivating Kids to Be Active. Updated June 2018. Accessed January 9, 2019. 3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Hu-man Services; 2018. 

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