(HealthDay News) -- Nearly 300,000 American children have some form of arthritis or rheumatic disease. It's a disease that begs them to sit still, but in the long run not being active is worse and creates more pain. These children need to make exercise part of their daily routine -- like brushing their teeth or doing their homework.
The important thing is to keep moving, whether it's walking the dog or walking to the school bus stop. But before your child starts exercising, he or she needs to remember these tips from the National Arthritis Foundation:
- Warm up and cool down.
- Don't do exercises on a bed or soft surface.
- Do each exercise slowly and smoothly.
- Repeat each exercise three or four times.
- Stop if pain is felt two hours after exercising, and take it easy for a day or two. When starting again, reduce the number of exercises and see if that helps.
- Try moving to music. Ask some friends to join in.
- Reward yourself after you reach your exercise goal for the day.
- Check with a doctor to see if the exercises are right for you.
- Keep an exercise diary to monitor your progress at the end of each month.
- Always focus on what you can do, not on what you can't do.