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According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of all kids aged between 10 and 17 have a weight problem. Most are either overweight or obese. That does not come as a shock since less than 25% of them participate in moderate physical activity for 60 minutes, that the American Medical Association recommends.
Numerous things lead to this like junk food is more easily accessible than it was in the past. Plus, more kids spend time on modern technologies like mobile phones and gaming consoles. This has resulted in low levels of physical activities in kids, unlike any other time in history.
Parents and teachers need to educate kids about the importance of exercise at a younger age. Apart from the PE classes (which, honestly, no one enjoys), there are numerous fitness centers aimed at making exercise for kids fun and exciting.
Why Do Children Exercise Less?
Technology is the main reason for this. It just has to be, right?
I know my kids probably spend more time than they should on these devices.
Devices like smartphones and gaming consoles are widespread and often divert kids’ time and energy away from other activities. Activities that could involve exercise like bike rides, hiking, jump rope, or playing tag.
Instead, use technology in moderation. It can’t occupy all your kids’ free time.
On the other hand, in most cases, parents are to blame mostly. If all you do is watch TV, you can’t expect your kids to appreciate the value of exercising.
Set up a specific day to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. Go on a hike and have the kids carry their hiking essentials. This will give them some responsibility and make them feel like part of the team.
Set a good example for your kids, and they will gladly follow. After all, exercise for kids can be fun!
Finally, mass urbanization has left kids with little to no space to play and roam around. And in some cases, parks and other public areas are far too dangerous for children to visit alone.
That is why specialized gyms that offer everything from exercise for kids to teenage workouts and baby classes are growing in popularity. They are a perfect way to introduce your children to the world of fitness in a fun way.
The Benefits of Exercise for Children
Here are ten reasons why exercising at a younger age benefits kids:
- Children who exercise at least an hour a day are at a lower risk of becoming obese.
- Higher rates of exercise are linked to improved concentration and better reading/math grades.
- As physical and cognitive abilities are linked, developing their body will undoubtedly benefit their mind.
- Exercise for kids based on sensory input games help the brain develop better. They are also likely to make exercise more enjoyable at a later age.
- Children who start exercising early are more likely to become active adults.
- Aerobic activity is directly linked to neural connections and the size of fundamental brain structures.
- Improved emotional responses are linked to balance and coordination.
- Regular exercise for kids can help children deal with depression and anxiety.
- Regular exercise helps children become more independent and care more for their health and image.
- Children who exercise are more likely to develop discipline and have shown improved behavior in the classroom.
As you can see, exercise is essential to kids’ development into functional and healthy adults. So try to encourage it as much as you can and put down that iPad!
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.