Walking is important to the health and mental health of everyone, especially growing children. As adults, we often feel the impact of not walking.
You know that feeling when you’ve been sitting in front of the computer too long? You feel stiff and sore. Or when you’ve been in the car for a long time and haven’t stretched your legs. Our bodies let us know they want to move.
The kiddos that aren’t able to walk due to some type of neuromuscular condition or injury, experience a lot of that, along with various other health issues.
Our bodies are made to move. They work their best when they are able to move and groove!
What happens when kids with Cerebral Palsy, SMA, HIE or various other conditions that impact lower body mobility, can’t get up and move around? What happens when they can’t walk?
There can be an impact on their GI health, they may have hip issues, they likely won’t sleep as well, and hormones can be impacted. Their mood may be impacted as well, as they could have pent up energy. Weight can become a problem. There may be loss of strength and endurance. Their immune system may not work as well. There may be increased inflammation in the body. Children with CP are said to need more activity to maintain their health.
We understand the importance of walking and activity and we’ve covered some of the ways not walking can impact health. So what are the solutions?
Ways to Get Children With Lower Body Mobility Limitations Moving
The best activities are ones your child enjoys and wants to do.
We suggest you speak to your child’s therapist to determine what activities would be best for them personally.
The list below shows some activities that are typically well liked and good for children:
- Walking – Trexo Home assistive walking device/gait trainer
- Adaptive sports and equipment like a bicycle
- Range of motion exercises are also important. Usually your child’s PT will outline which of these exercises are best for your kid. These exercises help with joint stiffness and promote better circulation.
For kids that have never been able to walk, the Trexo is a game changer. Parents share stories of how much their kiddo is doing – sleeping better, improved GI health (the kids are not experiencing constipation anymore) after walking regularly in the Trexo. In many cases their core strength and their neck strength has increased. Kids are more social, getting out to walk in the neighborhood interacting with kids as they walk. Hearing these stories is by far the best part of my job!
A study that analyzed one million people found that 60 to 75 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a day countered the effects of too much sitting. Learn more about that and some other information related to the importance of walking.
Reach out with questions any time!