Whenever you look at kids on a playground you see boundless energy and enthusiasm. Kids naturally have a lot of energy to burn, and they have a great time doing it. The funny thing is that the more active that kids are in childhood the more active they’re likely to be in adulthood. Kids playing on the monkey bars and seeing how high they can go on the swings might be all fun and games, but it can also create a lifetime of fitness and health. It’s important that kids learn the benefits of exercise early on in their development because life has a tendency of getting in the way later. Everything from homework to television and helping around the house can deter kids from getting all of the physical activity that they need in the average day. A lack of physically active role models around the house can also discourage some kids from reaching their full potential when it comes to getting enough exercise. Now, parents are understandably cautious about letting their children run wild around the neighborhood. Times have, indeed, changed. Depending on the neighborhood and time of day you might want to reconsider letting your kids roam around outside unsupervised. If you have a gated backyard, though, you might want to let kids play when they have time to.
Because of all the benefits listed below:
Benefits of Remaining Active
Being active improves kids’ moods, spurs their brain development and leads to stronger muscles and bones that can last a lifetime. For healthy growth and development, in other words, few things beat staying physically active in childhood. In fact, staying physically active in our formative years can lead to improved coordination and flexibility. There’s a phenomenon in psychology known as “the Matthew effect” that helps to explain much of this. The Matthew effect essentially says that the more that we do a certain activity the more we’re likely to keep doing it, profit from it, and enjoy doing it throughout our lives. The flip side is that those who don’t do the activity – in this case, physical activity throughout childhood and adolescence – the less likely it is that they won’t reap the developmental benefits that last a lifetime. In the short run, though, physically active kids can also expect a better functioning immune system and fewer sick days. That might be a mixed blessing for most kids! The fact that more
physical exercise is also correlated with improved cardiovascular health and reduced feelings of stress will make moms around the country happy, though. Better posture and a healthier weight are two more benefits that you can expect out of kids that stay physically active. An hour or more a day of moderate physical activity is all that it takes to
reap many of these incredible benefits.
How to Keep Kids Moving
Being a good role model is one of the most important factors when it comes to encouraging kids to become more physically active. Be a good role model in how you behave and your enthusiasm for different kinds of physical activities. Try to be physically active yourself and maybe play with your kids after you take them to the park. Just going on separate runs or bike rides can teach kids the right fundamentals and expose kids to new forms of exercise. It also reminds kids that exercise can be fun. It’s also a good idea to encourage kids to play sports or just games in the backyard instead of watching television through a nice summer day. Playing games with your kids or signing them up for sports is a great way to keep everyone in motion. It might take a bit of encouragement to get some kids to expand their horizons and consider a new sport, but you’d be surprised at how kids can embrace the challenge of learning and mastering an entirely new set of skills. Aside from role modelling and positive encouragement, there’s something that needs to be said for discouraging too much television, internet searching, or video game playing. Staying physically active can be fun, social, and hugely beneficial to growth. But of course, one of the best ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle is to be the example yourself. Live a healthy life, make intelligent decisions about food, and help carry that forward for your child. Even if you don’t know where to get started, try a program. Anything that will help you get more engaged with your health, so that your children can be inspired to do the same.