Teaching children the importance of exercising
Even though living in the modern age brings us numerous innovations in the field of technology, this definitely doesn’t mean that your kids should spend too much time watching TV or playing video games on a daily basis. Needless to say, a lot of parents will agree that it’s much easier to leave their kids in front of a TV than to convince them to go outside, which is a truly devastating fact that needs to change as soon as possible. Here’s why you need to teach your children about the importance of fitness, so check out our tips and accomplish your goal!
Why teaching children about exercise is so important?
Children were born to move, and you should know that movement helps them develop both physically and mentally. Physical activities inevitably improve their ability to learn, upgrade their brain functions, and improve their social skills, which is exactly what makes them extremely important. We can freely say that movement positively affects cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development – and each of these aspects contributes to the health and overall well-being of any child. In case you didn’t know, even moderate activity instantly feeds the brain with water, oxygen, and glucose, which we all need for optimal performance. Besides that, it will also release the endorphins and help your kids feel a lot better and happier in the blink of an eye, and that’s what matters most!
What are the three main elements of fitness?
In order to better understand the importance of being physically active, you should know that there are three main elements of fitness that shouldn’t be overlooked. The first one is endurance, and this element develops when kids regularly get aerobic activity. During these activities, the heart beats faster and the large muscles are moving, which inevitably improves the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to its cells. Aerobic activities can be fun for both kids and adults, and these include cycling, basketball, soccer, swimming, tennis, jogging, running, and even walking. The second important element is the strength, and children can improve it by climbing, doing push-ups and pull-ups, doing a handstand, and many more. The third important element of fitness is flexibility, and it can be significantly improved by doing stretching exercises. These will allow the muscles to bend and move easily, and kids actually do them every day when they reach for a toy, bend down to tie their shoes, or practice a split. All three of them are crucial when it comes to improving children’s physical and mental well-being, so make sure to carefully pick the exercises appropriate for their age and current fitness levels.
How to get your family moving?
Everyone knows that kids and teens are sitting around a lot more than they should and that too much screen time and not enough physical activity can easily lead to childhood obesity. First of all, you should start by limiting the amount of time spent in sedentary activities – especially watching TV. Of course, parents must be good role models for their kids, as the little ones are always paying attention (even when it doesn’t seem so!). So, what should you do? You should definitely establish a brand new fitness habit so that the whole family enjoys a particular physical activity while having fun at the same time. For example, cycling is never a bad choice – even your toddlers will love it! Bicycles serve a lot of amazing functions in childhood, from a developmental tool to a favorite toy, and what’s even better, these provide a great way for kids to get around the neighborhood, too. When your children are still small, you can go for a balance bike instead of opting for a bicycle with training wheels. However, if you prefer a traditional method that includes training wheels, you should be raising them a little bit at a time. When your kids grow up, you should definitely get them new kids bicycles that’ll keep them safe and sound while on the road. Quality mountain bikes are always a fantastic option, and you should definitely bear them in mind if you want only the best for your little ones.
How much exercise is enough? What else should I do for my kids?
Even though there is no general rule which says how much exercise is enough, the truth is that some experts agree that kids and teens should get at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on a daily basis. Of course, preschoolers don’t count, as they should have at least 120 minutes of active play every day. Remember that toddlers and preschoolers shouldn’t be inactive for long periods of time – no more than one hour unless they’re sleeping. Speaking of school-age kids, they shouldn’t be inactive for periods longer than two hours. Another important thing we must mention is a well-balanced diet, which undoubtedly plays a huge role in any child’s development. Needless to say, staying away from processed foods that are full of artificially added sugars, flavor enhancers, and empty calories, as well as from sugary drinks, is of the utmost importance. You should teach your kids that eating a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein, and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is extremely beneficial to them. Apart from these, your kids should drink enough water on a daily basis in order to stay healthy and hydrated. Once that’s done, you’ll know that you did everything you could to instill discipline and good lifestyle habits into your children, which is an extremely challenging yet so rewarding task that’s completely worth all the effort!
Teaching your kids about the importance of physical activity is absolutely essential if you want your little ones to grow into healthy, self-conscious, and responsible young people who will always know that taking care of their health should be their top priority. Once your goal is accomplished, your children will embrace the good lifestyle habits from an early age, and that’s exactly what counts most, right?