Regular physical exercise is one of the healthiest habits a child can develop. All kids are naturally active and vigorous, but supporting their natural desire for physical activity can help them develop a lifetime habit and ensure healthy living for many years to come. Physical exercise offers a lot of great health benefits, for both body and the soul. It is also the most efficient way to prevent growing obesity rates among children, and reverse this trend through the enjoyable daily exercises and fun outdoor activities. Fitness experts recommend at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, for children older than 2.
Benefits of physical activity for children
Increased physical activity is associated with increased life expectancy and decreased risk of many serious diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, lung disorders and even certain forms of cancer. In addition, physical activity creates many psychological and social benefits, and creates healthy lifestyle patterns for adulthood.
Children who exercise on the regular basis will easily control body fat and will have a leaner body. Because of this, physically active children are less likely to become overweight, to develop type 2 diabetes, or to have problems with blood pressure and cholesterol. Physical exercise is beneficial for building stronger muscles and bones, and strengthens the heart muscle.
Physical exercise is also beneficial for a stronger immune system. It increases the body’s ability to fight diseases and increases the blood flow to all body tissues. It also increases oxygen supply to the body cells making children more energized and their body detoxified. Exercise creates benefits even for the mind, causing the brain to produce more chemicals that can help a child feel better and more relaxed. It is very beneficial for children suffering from mild depression, low-self esteem, as well as for those who are having troubles in socializing. Team sports can help children to develop their social skills and to provide children with opportunities for socialization.
How to promote physical activity in children?
The best way to promote physical activity in children is to focus on fun and enjoyable activities. Parents are also advised to participate in physical activity with their children and to decrease sedentary activities such as watching television or playing computer games. Parents can make a key difference by trying to be role models for active lifestyles. There are many fantastic physical exercises suitable for whole family and some of them are basketball, bicycling, inline skating, swimming, walking, running or doing household work.