Therapeutic Benefits of Extracurricular Activities

Guest Authored By Dr. Erin K, PT, DPT

Extracurricular activities are a great way to work on strengthening, balance, and coordination in a peer or individual setting! Joining these activities also help improve your child’s confidence and build connections with peers. Below are just a few examples of extracurricular activities and some specific benefits to your child as detailed by a pediatric Physical Therapist.

Recreational Sports

Increasing cardiovascular endurance, reciprocal peer play, turn taking, object manipulation skills including overhand throwing, underhand throwing, catching, and kicking, dynamic balance while moving in a busy environment, generalization of skills across different environments.

Swimming

Cardiovascular endurance, motor coordination, diaphragmatic breathing, increasing lung capacity, gross strengthening.

Soccer

Cardiovascular endurance, kicking, dynamic single leg stance, catching (as goalie), overhand throwing with both arms, lower extremity strengthening, core strengthening, motor planning, motor coordination.

Dance

Cardiovascular endurance, single leg stance, dynamic balance, gross strengthening, motor coordination, motor planning.

Yoga

Gross strengthening, tolerance of static positions, motor planning, motor coordination, dynamic balance, body awareness in space, controlled diaphragmatic breathing pattern.

Gymnastics

Cardiovascular endurance, single leg stance, dynamic balance, gross strengthening, motor coordination, motor planning, muscular control of movements.

Karate

Cardiovascular endurance, single leg stance, dynamic balance, gross strengthening, motor coordination, motor planning, grading of movements.

Cooking classes

Motor planning, motor coordination, grading of movements, attending to tasks, increase static standing time, following verbal and visual directions, core and upper extremity strengthening.