The Benefits of Exercise for Kids
Parents know from personal experience how beneficial exercise is for sleeping patterns, work performance and overall health. But it’s equally important for children to make time for exercise, something which reduces stress, helps concentration at school and creates healthy habits for life. With television, video games and internet readily available to most kids, encouraging them to limit their time at the screen and get active outdoors is even more essential as they grow.
Between the ages of 5 and 18, it’s advisable that children do at least an hour of exercise every day to ensure steady growth and a healthy body. The best ideas are obviously those which interest your child, so if they’re not into team sports at school like football or hockey, don’t press the point but allow them to choose an alternative pursuit, such as table tennis or dance classes.
Family activities and day trips are a great way of getting everyone involved and making exercise a supportive and fun past-time. It’s good to contrast all that time spent indoors during the week with a nature walk in the countryside or a bike ride at the weekend. With the wide variety of bikes on the market now, you can get the whole family on board and teach your children the value of exercise by being a role model yourself.
There are plenty of creative ways you can encourage activity in your children, whatever hobbies they’re into. Kids who enjoy art and craft-making might spend more time in the house but you can build on this by thinking of a project which involves physical activity too, like making a kite and taking it to the park. Equipment from hula hoops to frisbees and roller skates can act as inspiration when your kids are having a ‘bored’ moment.
Although it can be a challenge to motivate your children, forming good habits now can help them combat illness and health conditions later in life, so it’s a job worth doing. Remember to acknowledge and praise them when they take part in physical activities or start learning something new. When kids associate exercise with positive things and can really enjoy the experience, it becomes a lot less of a struggle to fit it into their routine.
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