Why Exercising For Kids Is So Important
With the increasing concern over the alarming rise in the levels of obesity amongst the young it has become essential that parents, teachers and child carers recognize the importance of regular daily exercise in maintaining the health of their charges.
In todays busy world where so many families are dependent upon the contributions of both partners to the household budget, together with the change in a wife or partners´ role from dependent to independent, it is their children that have become deprived of the attention that past generations took for granted.
It is now so easy to give a child a 'play station' where he or she can quickly become absorbed in the intricacies of a computer game and will not require mum or dads attention for hours.
The big picture that must be recognised by parents is that keeping the kids occupied and out of their hair this way is more than likely to lead to long term, and often short term, serious health problems.
These are, of course, related to the fact that sitting in front of a screen is a completely sedentary occupation and the child is getting no physical exercise or burning up any of the surplus energy that the young are blessed with.
The early signs are the onset of obesity as the unused energy is converted into body fat leading in later years to overweight related health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and many others.
Responsible and loving parents recognize the dangers and take action, as should all those involved in childcare.
Anybody that has responsibility for a child, even if it is for only the occasional hour or two once or twice a week should try to encourage some form of physical activity.
Ways To Keep Exercise Interesting
At any age between pre-school and fifteen it is important to make exercise fun and interesting, after all that is the attraction of computer games, nowadays the main competition for a child’s attention.
Starting with pre-school, health practitioners acknowledge that exercise at this young age is unlikely to contribute one way or another to health problems in later years but consider it of importance in establishing a healthy foundation and mindset to continuing physical activity throughout childhood and adolescence.
It is from around the age of 7-8 until 15 years old that the groundwork for a healthy future can be laid.
It is also between these ages that obesity can become established and the seeds of potential future health hazards are sown.
Types of activities for children
- Unless a young child has a fear of water, swimming and other pool activities are fun and excellent exercise.
- Simple gym exercises such as dancing and tumbling mat work, stop and start competitions, just use your imagination, change the routines constantly and try to keep it going for 1-11/2 hours daily.
- If alone with one child get down to the recreation area in your local park.
- If the weathers bad then think up some stay at home activities that require constant walking running or jumping to burn up energy, strengthen muscles and bones and build up stamina.
Bear in mind that active play with other children is important in developing social skills as well keeping fatness at bay.
Even with both parents at work every day finding an hour a day to devote to having some physical fun with your child should be a rewarding pleasure to look forward to.
As they get older and better able to coordinate their movements introduce ball games, football and basketball are the easy to play in the back yard.
Keener parents might want to encourage an early interest by involvement in short tennis, maybe competitive or distance swimming, or ice-skating.
There is hardly a limit to the number of beneficial physical activities to encourage your child to take up, one of which might become an all-consuming passion leading to sporting fame and wealth.
A word of warning, do not impose or persuade them into a physical activity against their will, encourage them in what they enjoy, be it ballet for boys or all-in wrestling for girls!
Current medical research suggests that 9 year olds will gain the greatest health benefits from 2 hours moderate to vigorous continuous physical activity every day and by the age of fifteen 1- 1 ½ hours daily should suffice.
Keeping the kids to a nutritious and balanced diet, avoiding excessive consumption of any food but particularly sugary candies and drinks, crisps and other snacks high in fats, is also as much a contribution to a healthy adulthood as exercise.
Childcare experts will tell you that it is the encouragement, involvement and good example of the parents in the everyday life of their kids that leads to healthy and happy progress as they get older.
Has anybody told them about dealing with the emotional problems of teenagers!!
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