Exercise is essential for a person of every age. Depending upon the age the extent of exercise necessary differs. In addition to the time needed to be spent doing exercise the nature of exercise also differs from person to person and for persons of different ages. When any one talks of exercise, one starts to relate it with going to gym and doing weight lifting or walking on the treadmill. This is not correct as exercise simply means physical activity.
Kids who are at the growing stage of life need to do a lot of exercise. This is necessary for both physical and mental development. Exercise helps build muscles and bones. A person with healthy muscles, joints and bones will be better placed in life during the time to come, especially at an advanced age. Regular exercise also helps sharpen the brain of the child and such a child is generally good at studies. After exercise the child will be able to have good sleep and the child will be active throughout the day. Children who do regular exercise face decreased risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. Also the cholesterol level remains within a limit, which is good for arteries and heart in long run.
Benefits of Exercise for Children
With increasing tendency of obesity in children in the developed world exercise becomes more important. Children love to eat fast food which is full of fat, starch and sugar. With inadequate or lack of exercise this will result in obesity. It becomes the duty of the parents also to ensure that the child indulges in outdoor activity and does not remain glued to the TV set or computer surfing the net after school hours. Parents can set an example for the children by maintaining an active life style.
Exercise can be in any form or at any time. It is not necessary that the child does a particular exercise at a fixed time. Exercise can take any form and even going to school walking or biking could be a good exercise if the school is at some distance. A child can participate in dance or yoga classes at school as they are very good exercises and help move each and every part of the body.
Generally schools have exercise time for the kids. Depending upon the time spent in school, additional exercise can be planned by the parents. After the child is home from school, you can take him to a playground where he can run around or play some game. Daily exercise should be planned in a way that the body of the child gets endurance, strength and flexibility. Endurance comes from aerobic exercises like playing baseball, soccer, swimming and cycling. Likewise stretching exercises help increase flexibility of the body and the muscles.
In addition to the bones and joints, exercise helps to have a healthy heart. Heart is itself a muscle and works day and night pumping blood. With passive lifestyle, instances of heart disease are increasing and have been noticed even in the case of kids. Once a person gets a heart related problem, his future life gets affected. Exercises, especially aerobic exercises, are very helpful in development of heart muscles. When a person does aerobic exercises the heart rate increases and lot of oxygen is breathed in due to rapid breathing. This provides strength to the heart. Swimming, basketball, hockey and other games involving physical movement are good exercises for the kid’s development.
These days kids spend on an average more than 5 hours before TV or computer. This needs to be cut down. Time saved from screen should be utilised judiciously between studies and outdoor sports. Even an additional hour or so spent on sports will have a marked effect on the child and will be apparent in a short period of few months. Teach exercise to the child as a fun activity and participate in it as far as possible. This will help in raising a well balanced and developed child which will be a source of joy for the whole family.