Exercise for Kids
Many of our nation’s children are overweight. In fact, childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Why? Exercise is a key factor; kids are not getting enough of it.
Exercise has many benefits. The positive effects of exercise include
Stronger muscles and bones
Less likely to be overweight
Decrease in the risk of type 2 diabetes
May lower blood pressure and cholesterol
Happier state of mind
Better stress management
If possible, kids should exercise one to two hours every day. Although this seems like a lot of time, exercise should be a fun part of their regular, daily routine. Kids can get exercise by climbing and running at the park or by playing games like tag and hopscotch. Mowing the grass with a push lawn mower and raking leaves are also good forms of exercise.
One way to ensure kids are more likely to get exercise is to limit the amount of time they spend in sedentary activities. Kids need to sit less and move more. The amount of time spent watching television and playing video games should not be more than one to two hours per day. Children should be encouraged to be active. Biking, dancing, jumping rope, hiking, swimming, and participating in team sports are fun ways to be active. Playing tennis with a friend or shooting hoops is also fun.
Adults play a very important role in getting kids to exercise. One way parents and other adults can motivate kids to exercise is by exercising themselves. Children learn from example. Walk a mile every morning and ask your child to join you. Bike to the post office instead of driving. Do yoga before bed. Encourage children to exercise through words and actions.