Fitness, never an outdated code among adults, is seemingly a missing factor among children of the contemporary times. Various influences share the blame for the surge of obesity in kids; the dominant ones point to excessive exposure to screens and technological devices, lack of socialization and unhealthy diet patterns.
What is the importance of fitness in children?
Physical activity has a big bundle of benefits to give your child.
- Exercise helps in developing and maintaining the strength of bones and muscles.
- Staying physically fit is the best way to keep at bay several health issues like cardiac problems, diabetes, and cancer.
- Obesity can be prevented with regular physical activity.
- The overall posture, flexibility levels, balance and coordination can be enhanced by fitness activities.
- Cognitive gains like better focus and concentration are added advantages that surface due to enhanced neural connections.
- If your child complains of sleep issues, adequate physical activity can help.
- A fit body generates greater self-esteem and self-confidence, helping your little champion excel like never before.
- Children get better socialization opportunities and potential through fitness bits.
- Physical fitness in kids make them mentally fit as well by reducing the factors that contribute to stress, depression, anxiety etc.
- The sense of self-efficacy can be well-nurtured within the child through exercises, thereby helping them in mastering life skills better.
What is the right age to start the practice of physical fitness in children?
Surprisingly, fitness shots commence as early as 6 months, when the baby gets his tummy-time, gaining all the back, neck and arm strength. Your 2-year old toddler, always on the move, knows nothing about physical fitness; yet, simply by being active, she fills the bill of fitness. Parents can help children above 4 years to practice simple and age-appropriate exercises post consultation with a qualified pediatrician.
How much physical activity do children ideally require?
Toddlers and preschoolers are generally active through the day and hence, all that you would need to do as a parent would be to encourage them to play as much as they want. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, children who have crossed the age of 6 should ideally get an hour of physical activity on a daily basis. The perfect fitness hour would include a combination of moderate and vigorous exercises.
Some cool ways to ensure fitness in children
- Sports like baseball, badminton, soccer and swimming are just the best bet to seize fitness. Enroll your child for his/her favorite sport; your child’s interest is of utmost significance here, for the sake of consistency.
- Gymnastics is a splendid choice to prompt fitness.
- Why not let your child tag along while you take your morning stroll? The bonus of better parent-child bonding is all yours!
- Biking is a great activity that all kids enjoy. In addition to fitness, it facilitates better coordination capabilities.
- If dance thrills your child, the nearest dance school can get the job done for you!
- Encourage games that include running, jumping and climbing and let fun and fitness merge marvelously.
- Trampoline is the best fitness fairy ever; if it’s a preschooler that keeps you reading here, this is just the best for you!