Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Importance Of Exercise

With the ever increasing statistics on childhood obesity, researchers are studying just how much exercise children need daily. Although there are numerous studies currently on the subject, the main focus is that children get involved in physical activity every day for at least 60 minutes.

There are many benefits to exercise for all of us but for children here are some specific benefits:
1) exercise burns calories, decreasing weight gain and potential health issues
2) children burn off energy, giving them the ability to sit and focus better at school
3) motor skills, balance, hand-eye coordination, and rhythm become sharper, especially in younger children
4) discovery of talents and interests (i.e. baseball, basketball, cheerleading, ballet)
5) opportunity to learn team effort, discipline, motivation, hard work, graciousness in winning and losing
6) healthier sense of well being

Sometimes it is difficult to get a child to try something new. Forcing them to try will be met with resistance. For children who
show interest in a particular activity, encourage them to participate so they have an opportunity to see if this is something they really like. Of course some children may want to participate in activities that you as a parent are not comfortable with (football, rock climbing, bungee jumping) and by all means, this is something they can participate in when they are older perhaps. The important thing is to let the child have the freedom to make a choice. For children who have no interest, you may want to give them a choice of three different activities and if none are to their liking, ask them to suggest an activity.

Many times children need the motivation of their parents getting involved in order to try something. Playing catch, jumping rope, bike riding are examples of things parents can easily do with their child. And it provides together time for you and your child.

We realize that lives are extremely complicated today and it’s hard to find time. Remember, your child is looking to you for direction and example. Parents are the most influential people in a child’s life. What a wonderful opportunity you have to change a child’s life forever!

You may find further information at the following websites:

how much exercise should my child do at each age level. http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_fit/fitness/exercise.html

on active video games for exercise

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