Physical exercise is a must in everyone’s life, both adults and children. Normally children don’t look at it in terms of an exercise regime, as we adults think about it. For children, exercise would be just about anything that will keep them physically active. It is important to ensure that children have dedicated time for any physical activity.
There are many benefits of exercising and it is beneficial for both young and old. Some of the exercise benefits for children are –
- A healthy and fit body.
- A lean and muscular body.
- Strong bones and muscles.
- Lower cholesterol levels and lower obesity.
- As children would become hungry, healthy food can be given to them.
- Exercise will lead to better weight management.
- Exercise will result in good sleep, as children would be active.
Some of the things that parents can do to avoid a sedentary lifestyle are given below:
- Put restrictions on the time spent in front of the TV, video games, ipads, tablets and smart phones etc.
- Limit the screen time to watching programmes or movies which involve learning.
- Keep the TV out of the children’s bedroom, in order to avoid more TV viewing.
- Keep meal times free of TV time.
- Talk to children about the benefits of exercise and inspire them to exercise.
- Always take the stairs instead of elevators.
- Keep exercise as a fun activity so that children will want more of it.
Parents should encourage their children to develop endurance, flexibility and strength in their day to day physical exercise regime. Some activities that can be excellent physical exercise are as follows:
This is one of the best exercises for children. Most children love water and this is a perfect exercise for the whole body. Ideally swimming should be done after an hour of eating, for better digestion. Children can swim, float, breathe and move their hands and legs, which in turn exercises all parts of the body.
In summer, swimming is a great fun related activity for children. Also swimming is a life-saving activity, as once you are able to swim you can help yourself and others in case of water danger.
This is another exercise which is good for children. Skipping is a good exercise for hyperactive children. It is a game loved by most girls. It is one of the best cardio exercises as it involves a full body workout, which includes the legs, hands, shoulders, arms and body. The jumping helps in increasing the height of children.
It is one more exercise which helps in strengthening the thigh and leg muscles. Further it helps to exercise your heart, lungs and blood vessels. Good brisk cycling on good roads can improve the overall fitness level of the body.
Encourage your children to drive their cycle on safe roads for a short distance, maybe to school or tuitions or a grocery store. Allow children to cycle only if the roads are safe, else let them enjoy cycling in the park or colony garden or on a quiet road near your house.
This is one more exercise activity enjoyed by one and all. Children love dancing and it can be used as an excellent form of exercise. If your children like dancing, then enrol them in any dance class like the Zumba or even aerobics. They will learn to focus and be more creative. Some children love to do splits, cartwheels and many other dance related activities which are interesting.
Walking your pet dog in the garden.
Children love their pets, whether it is a dog or any other pet. When you take your pets out for a daily walk, you are bound to run and walk fast, in every nook and corner. As children follow their pet, they will become tired, sweaty and flexible in their movements.
Playing badminton helps in increasing alertness, focus, aim, strike and concentration. It also improves physical exertion and stamina. Children love to play badminton and it is one of the most chosen sports taken up by teenagers.
Hiking and Trekking.
Family vacations are an exciting time. Take your children for camping and hiking activities. Go on the nature trail by taking them on a hike. Let them run, walk, climb, fall and get exhausted. Only last year, we did the spice plantation trek on a small hill and it was fun as well as exhausting. All of us enjoyed the different spices growing on the hills.
There are many hiking and trekking activities. Plan a nice hiking and trekking trip, keeping in mind your children age. Make it a fun filled activity.
Some other exercises are listed below –
- Running or jogging.
- Free play time in the garden.
- Picking up the dry leaves in the garden and keeping them in the bin thereby helping to keep the garden clean.
- Hula hoop.
- Playing tennis.
These are some of the exercises which can be included in your child’s schedule. Ensure that your children have free play time or are engaged in interesting sports activities which will keep them fit and healthy. It is important to teach your children the importance of good health and fitness early in life. A healthy family will always strive to eat healthy, exercise and keep their body fit.
Please read our earlier article Top 5 Exercises which help build Muscles at home.
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