Exercise is something most adults think about all the time. For children however they tend to exercise by nature. As parents it is our job to make sure our children get as much exercise as possible. This doesn’t have to be a chore, but it will involve more than just say to your child, go outside and play”. For most children exercise will come in the form of play. With so much computer and television distractions these day, play time will have to be a planned activity.
Things like dance class, soccer practice, playing tag, and playing basketball, are all things children can do to exercise. Active kids can expect to have:
- leaner bodies because exercise will control weight.
- Stronger bones and muscle structure.
- a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels
- a overall better outlook on life
In addition to the obvious health benefits of exercise, there are other upsides. Active children sleep better and are better able to handle the emotional and physical challenges they will encounter. Exercise helps children develop endurance, flexibility, and strength. For example, playing tag gives your child endurance. Playing on the monkey bars helps develop strength. And a simple task like bending over to tie their shoes builds flexibility.
What Type of Exercise Is Good?
Children don’t have to join a gym to exercise. Just encourage them to do the things they may already be doing. If they are not then get them involved in activities like bike riding, swimming, playing sports, walking etc. Strength training usually comes from picking up heavy things. Doing yard work for yourself or a relative or friend a few times a week can help in this regard.
Stretching is also something that you as a parent should encourage. Children are naturally more flexible than adults. So encouraging them to stretch
will help them remain flexible for a lifetime. Stretching is in it self a part of a good exercise routine. Children naturally stretch when they do cartwheels, try to do the splits, or reach for a toy that is just out of reach.
In the end exercise helps to improve child development and teaching. It helps children learn better and cope better with their peers. As a parent making sure your child get enough exercise everyday is just as vital as making sure they eat everyday.