Physical Activity is Key to Keeping Your Child Healthy

Kids are not as active as they used to be. On average, a child will spend upward of three hours daily sitting and watching television. Lack of physical activity has led to a spike in the rate of childhood obesity. As parents, we should be doing what we can to help our kids understand why being active is an important aspect of healthy living. But how do we get our kids interested? Support them by introducing them to fun and active hobbies they will love.

While also teaching discipline, showing your kids how to be active will set them up for an active lifestyle in the future. It is also a good way for the family to learn how to set goals and work together. Take the entire family shopping for cool, new running shoes and take turns choosing routes for the whole group to run together. Steps like this can make the family run an exciting part of your normal routine and encourage your kids to ditch the TV and get active.

Studies show that childhood obesity cases in the U.S. have tripled during the past three decades. To alleviate this situation, parents should develop health and fitness activities for their kids. The activities will depend on the age of the children and for maximum benefits, 45 to 60 minutes of physical activity daily is recommended.

Ages 4 to 6

Let your kids explore their environment. Play games of catch and encourage them to walk and run. Walking with the kids is ideal and will keep them healthy.

Ages 6 to 9

During this age period, children’s balance, visual tracking and motor skills are under heavy development. Their activities should concentrate on improving their coordination and movement. Jumping rope, dancing and running will help. You should get them into organized sports so they will become fit physically. At the same time, they will also make new friends and their social skills are developed as well. Kids will learn the meaning of teamwork and developing strategies.

Ages 10 to 12

When your children are in middle school, they can play more complex sports. Motivate them to play basketball, soccer, tennis or other physical sports. At this point you can get them started on strength training. This should be done under the supervision of an adult. To make health and fitness activities more exciting, have kids play in groups. They will discover the value of camaraderie.

Physical Activities for Adolescents

The best way to get adolescents and teens to exercise is to make it into a social activity. Their choices of activities will be influenced by their friends or their school. Let them select the fitness program. Popular now are swimming, bicycling, hiking, running and football. A growing number of adolescents are also taking up yoga. While most adolescents like to work out with friends, others prefer to do it alone. So let them decide…

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