There is a common problem around the world with children not getting enough exercise. With the invention of the computers and the televisions it is not uncommon for a child to get little or no exercise. Not only will a lack of exercise hinder a child in their youth, if they aren’t getting the right kind of aerobic exercise, they will have a higher chance of being overweight or obese in adulthood. Children who have developed lazy habits are also more likely to make poor eating choices, thus exacerbating their health problems. As children grow and develop it is important for them to get the appropriate amount of aerobic exercise or activity to help build strong muscles, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Off The Couch
It may be tempting to allow your children to waste many hours on the couch watching TV or playing video games. For most children these activities will keep them quiet and entertained for hours. However, these activities, although require minimal supervision, are detrimental to a child’s health if done for long periods of time.
How do you get your kids off the couch? There are many options open to you and your children. The important thing is to focus on activities that they enjoy and will want to continue doing. Are few options are:
- Outdoor play with friends or siblings. Ball games, tag, hide and seek are all examples of activities that are fun aerobic exercises for kids.
- Join a club or sports team. Organized sports are a great way for kids to get exercise but also make new friends. Even if your child isn’t athletic clubs like scouts or cadets often participate in activities to get kids moving like hiking or marching. Girls may prefer dance classes or gymnastics.
- Family activities. Doing things as a family is great for building relationships but will also reinforce the importance of living healthy. Practice what you preach. Go for a family swim, bowling or even just going for a walk or playing in the park with your kids will benefit both them and you.
Exercise is important but it comes as a package with healthy eating. Enforce rules about healthy eating for your children. You have to make sure that your entire family is eating well, and that children are eating food that will help with their mental and physical development. You also have to make sure that you aren’t letting your children eat in front of the television or the computer.
The combination of a healthy diet and physical activity starting at an early age will set up your children to be healthy in their adult lives as well. Don’t assume that your children are getting enough exercise at school. Kids need more exercise than you may think. Not only will it help keep their weight down preventing future health problems but it will also use up their energy allowing them to sleep better at night.