Joining Extracurricular Activities

Playing sports

Before your child starts any physical activity or exercise, talk to their doctor to see what level of activity might be right for them. 

  • Talk with the coach. Playing sports (or participating in other extracurriculars, such as dance or theater) means a busier schedule. Talk to the coach or supervisor to establish a plan that you and your child can work with. Sticking to treatment, even on game days, is still important
  • Add more electrolytes. People with cystic fibrosis (CF) are prone to electrolyte depletion from sweating, especially when it’s hot or when they exercise. It’s important to replace the electrolytes your child loses through sweating
football
    • Seek out sports drinks. Sports drinks with extra electrolytes might do the trick
    • Cook with more salt. People with CF are encouraged to eat food that is rich in sodium. So, after a practice or game, cook a meal with more salt, or have your child eat salty snacks such as cold cuts, cheese, and pizza

 

Getting involved

Encouraging your child to participate in sports or clubs may benefit him or her in many ways, including:  

  • Mind-body relationship: Getting involved in sports and other extracurricular activities has been proven to help:
    • Decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety
    • Improve sleep quality
    • Improve health-related quality of life (someone’s perception of their own mental and physical health)
  • Social interactions: Participating in a sport or joining a club is one way for your child to make friends and help gain confidence
  • Independence: Sports and extracurriculars can help children and teens increase their independence. Encourage your child to accept responsibilities that come with getting involved, like packing a post-practice snack
  • Breathing benefits: There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that exercise and physical activity can lead to improvements in lung function. Exercise can also help people with CF benefit from enhanced airway clearance. Translation: better mucus clearance, healthier lungs
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breathing