Q: My son isn't interested in organized sports. Do you have any suggestions for other activities that might entice him and get him outdoors?
A: Your son is fortunate in that we have a multitude of options for outdoor activities in the Tennessee Valley. Hiking, biking and kayaking are just a few of the options available.
Your first step should be determining your son's fitness personality. Is he a nonathlete, lacking athletic ability or interest in physical activity? Could he be a casual athlete, meaning he's interested in being active but isn't a star player or doesn't like a competitive environment? Or is he an athlete looking for the right team to play on? Understanding the concept of fitness types will help you help your son find activities he likes.
Your own curiosity and interest in outdoor activities can inspire your son, too. If you're excited about taking a hike, that excitement is contagious. Frame the hike idea as a special adventure for the two of you.
Read about outdoor activities, sports and adventures together. There are so many excellent authors who create magical worlds with their words that can inspire both of you.
Don't give up if one activity doesn't interest your son. The options are so numerous that there's bound to be at least one outdoor activity he enjoys. It just may take a period of trial and error to find the best fit.
— Tonia Cox, M.D., Pediatric Diagnostic Associates, member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society