Committing to an active life since a young age leads to a healthy lifestyle for a lifetime.
Both children and adults should exercise because physical activity is important for everyone. It not only lowers the chances to suffer from complex health conditions but also keeps the body to a healthy weight and boosts mental health.
Sports help children adopt a healthy lifestyle through daily exercise. Keeping your children active should be every parent’s priority.
You may have the misconception exercising implies going at the gym, but for children, this isn’t the case, they can have other physical activities that allow them to exercise. Playing football, running in the park, and swimming in your back pool are only some activities that keep children in play.
How much should my children exercise daily?
If your child is aged between 4 and 18, then they should perform aerobic exercise for at least 1 hour daily to keep their muscles and bones strong. They can have multiple activities during the day that can sum up one hour of aerobic exercise. It’s advisable for children from 5 to 18 years old to have intense exercises, but it’s important to choose the appropriate activities because working too hard can cause injuries and exhaustion.
When children have difficulties in achieving the goal they set for an activity, they can lose confidence and this can become an obstacle in their commitment to a healthy and active life.
If your child is aged under 5, it’s advisable to encourage them to have more than 3 hours of light physical exercises daily. The 3 hours can be split throughout the day because young children get tired fast and find difficult to focus on the same activity for a long time.
Why should my child exercise daily?
Physical activity can prevent children from experiencing complex health problems like obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Alongside this major benefit, your child will have many other ones if they exercise daily.
- When children are active from a young age, they are more likely to maintain this habit in adulthood
- Children who exercise find easier to maintain a healthy body weight
- By performing physical activities daily children improve and maintain their bones, muscles, and joints strong
- Exercises help children develop interpersonal skills, especially when they practice together with other kids. Taking part in team sports is a wonderful experience for children of all ages because it helps them gain team-building skills
- Children who exercise daily sleep better
- Daily physical activity stops or delays the development of complex disorders like hypertension, diabetes and heart disease
- Children who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. They actually have a better overall mood.
- Kids who exercise have better motor coordination because physical activities improve the development of numerous motor performance skills.
- When used to be active daily children find easier to try new activities
- Kids who spend more time practicing sports make new friends, and their bonds are stronger than those between children who don’t share the same hobbies
What exercises should my children perform daily?
You should ask your children’s doctor for recommendations because they can establish what exercises your kids should do, according to their needs. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommends kids have one hour of daily activities. Your kids should receive three types of physical activity daily, so find a way to mix them into their routine.
They need aerobic activity, muscle strengthening, and bone strengthening.
It’s your role to minimize the time your children spend indoors being inactive. Nowadays, children prefer to play video games, watch TV or sit in front of their computer scrolling social media. Alongside supervising the physical activities your child performs, you should also monitor how long they sleep and what food they eat because unhealthy foods are dangerous for their health.
Children exercise differently than adults and most of the time the physical activities they engage in the form of games. All the extracurricular activities they do outdoors help them stay active. Day camps in Queens help children get all three forms of exercise they need daily. Camps organize activities that encourage them to:
- perform aerobic exercises (running, riding a bike, swimming),
- train their muscles (playing in trees, gymnastics),
- maintain their bones strong (soccer, running and jumping rope).
When you choose the exercises your children do, you need to consult with their coach and with the doctor to check if they are age-appropriate. Children may find it enjoyable to jump rope, but it may not be a suitable exercise for their health condition. Children don’t have to lift weights to strengthen their muscles, they can do it when they climb trees or when they play volleyball.
How can I encourage my children to be more active?
You need to encourage your children to be more active, especially if they prefer to spend time indoors isolating themselves from the other children. You are their role model, so you should be active and ask them to join you when running the park, swimming or hiking. Children learn through example, and statistics show that children are 5 times more active if their parents are.
You should select the right activities for their age group because if they cannot find difficult to take part in the game, they can become frustrated or bored. Keep in mind that children between 5 and 18 don’t fully understand why it’s important to exercise, so they will not do it because they want to avoid suffering from diabetes. But if they find the exercise fun, they will commit to it and they will enjoy doing it.
Enroll your children in team sports because they are active games that allow them to socialize and communicate with other children. Team sports not only help children stay healthy and strong but also encourage them to develop team spirit and communication skills.
Find the sports your children would love to try and allow them to pick what they want to perform. It would be easier to support them to stay active.