Kids and Exercise: Why It Matters
It’s becoming more and more rare for kids to get the exercise that they need to maintain their mental and physical health.
With all of our technological devices that are in use today, from phones, to television, to video games, and tablets, it’s become quite commonplace for kids to spend most of their entertainment hours in sedentary positions.
This doesn’t always lead to obesity necessarily (though it definitely can,) but more often than not, their decline in health from this lifestyle is much sneakier.
Lack of exercise for children can result in an increased risk of diabetes, higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol levels, and higher risk of mental health issues such as ADHD, anxiety, and depression.
Children that don’t get exercise do not sleep as well, nor are they as well-equipped to maintain emotional regulation and manage stress.
So, what does exercise look like for kids?
Obviously, certain activities, such as lifting weights, are discouraged.
But that does not mean that strength training isn’t important for children.
Additionally, kids generally don’t want to do anything that is a drag for them to do.
So, exercise for kids needs to be focused around fun activities that they enjoy while they increase their strength and stamina.
Below, we’ll discuss viable exercise options for kids.
Emphasis on play!
Play is extraordinarily vital to a child’s wellbeing.
The best kind of play for children incorporates engaging with activities that allow them to learn, grow, and explore themselves and their environment.
Combining exercise with play makes for healthy bodies, expansive minds, and happy kids.
Aerobic exercise such as basketball, soccer, swimming, and dancing are all fun activities that give kids the workout they need, and it won’t even feel like work!
Plus, most aerobic activities, especially team sports, allows kids to engage with their peers and be collaborative, allowing them to exercise their social prowess as well.
Martial arts training is another option that kids absolutely love.
Every kid wants to be a ninja, and martial arts makes them feel like one.
There’s a plethora of holistic benefits to martial arts.
First, unlike competitive sports, martial arts focuses on individual progress.
This teaches kids how to take ownership of themselves, which will translate to their success as adults.
Next, martial arts emcompasses all kinds of exercise, including strength training, endurance, and increased coordination.
Mental acuity skills, such as focus, self-control, and concentration are also developed.
Most martial arts programs also emphasize qualities such as respect, discipline, and perseverance.
So, not only do kids get a great and well-rounded workout, but they learn an abundance of other skills that will nurture their growth and health for the rest of their lives!
Strength training for kids is really simple.
All they require is natural ways to build strength.
This could be something as simple and playful as climbing on monkey bars, or as regimented as push-ups and sit-ups.
Don’t neglect fun activities that you can do together as a family to build strength, such as rock climbing!
Basically, anything that they can use to exercise their muscles naturally with the weight of their own bodies is a good way to go.
Just make sure to also teach them how to stretch properly and supplement their diets appropriately for healthy muscle growth!
How much exercise should your child be getting?
It is safe and recommended for your child to be incredibly active.
Kids have a lot of energy, and it’s important that they burn it off.
When children become sedentary, it affects their mood, attention span, and bodies in less than favorable ways.
That being said, activity doesn’t need to be rigorous all day.
About 60 minutes of daily regimented moderate to vigorous physical activity is recommended.
Other than that, plenty of unstructured active playtime will do just fine!
Did you know?
Here at the Ladan Eastern Wellness Center, Grandmaster Ladan has a Youth Program targeted specifically for your kid’s needs.
Your kids will get to engage with other kids their age in a structured fitness learning program that will supply them with healthy skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Drop by or contact us to find out more information!