Physical exercise is very much important for people of all ages. Just like adults, children need to exercise on the daily basis. According to the general health recommendations, children under the age of three should have around 180 minutes of physical activity daily, while older children need at least an hour. Today, children are spending much time watching TV or playing video games. Therefore, it is a great challenge for both parents and teachers to motivate kids to develop a lifetime love of physical exercise.
Sedentary lifestyle is a major factor for the rising prevalence of obesity in children. Obesity is associated with many adverse health effects, and it is a serious public health concern. The rate of obesity among children in the United States has tripled between the early 1980s and 2000. In 2011, nearly one-third of US children were overweight or obese at 9 months and 2 years old.
Benefits of physical activity for children
Supporting this good habit in children will help lead them to a lifetime of joyful and healthy living. Physical exercise offers a lot of great benefits for children, benefits such as physical fitness, better self-image, and good feeling about themselves. Regular physical activity will help them make a stronger immune system and be less prone to flu and colds. It will also help them reduce the risk of some hazardous diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cancers.
Exercise also develops stronger bones and muscles, and helps children to reduce their body weight and burn fats while being active. Physical activity increases the blood flow, improves the absorption of oxygen and elimination of toxins. It also makes kids sweat more and therefore, detoxify the body.
Physical exercise also offers a lot of benefits for children’s mental health. It increases the release of beneficial hormones, alleviates the stress, and helps the children concentrate much better and learn new skills more easily.
Guidelines for physical activity for children
Children should be encouraged to be active literally from birth. Babies should be encouraged to physical activity by reaching and grasping, pulling and pushing, and moving their body. Toddlers who can walk should be active for at least 3 hours. Age-appropriate activities for this age are riding a bike, chasing and ball games.
Children of all ages should be encouraged for light activities such as walking at a slow pace, standing and less energetic play. However, energetic activities are much more beneficial, and they include fast waking, biking, dancing, climbing, skipping a rope, gymnastics and other.