Let us perform an experiment. Take a moment to look in on your children. Where are they at this moment? What are they doing? Have any of you noted that your children are currently seated in front of a screen, be it a television, tablet, or mobile phone? If that is the case, try and think back through the day, then form an estimate of how long they have been seated there. Can you remember when the last time you saw them playing outside or otherwise performing some exercise was?
If you have internalised these questions and have concluded that your children are not as physically active as they should be, this problem does not affect you alone. Today, a significant concern among parents and health professionals is how increasingly inactive our children are becoming as technology becomes their primary form of entertainment and interaction with the outside world. Getting them away from their screens, at least for the better part of the day, has become a shared mission among parents everywhere.
Why Exercise is Essential for Children
Regular exercise can make a significant difference in the quality of your children’s lives. There are many benefits of your kids in exercising, including:
- Better physical health- children who are encouraged to exercise are physically healthier as they are less at risk of developing such medical complications as obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. Such a strong foundation will carry into their time as adults where they are just as likely to have healthy lifestyles.
- Enhanced mental performance- being more physically active boosts the child mental understanding in turn. They can do better in their schooling while becoming better learners in general.
- Improved mental health- the more active a child is, the better their mental health becomes. Scientific research has shown the link between sedentary lifestyles and higher instances of anxiety and depression.
- More confidence- Physically active Children are more likely to develop a strong sense of self-worth, which would make them more confident overall.
- Better social skills- since most forms of exercise for children require them to interact with others, they become better at functioning in social situations. For those children that are genuinely exceptional, these social interactions can make leaders out of them.
How Do You Get Your Child Moving?
Getting your child to be more active does not have to be a big production. Start by setting an example for them. Children are observant. If they see their parent taking on a more active lifestyle, they will be more willing to change and start doing the same. When they begin embracing more activity, please do not leave them to their own devices. Act as a guide and a source of encouragement so that they keep at it.
As they explore the exercise options available to them, please note what draws their interest most. Forcing your child into an activity that they do not enjoy can cause more harm than good and become a significant setback. He or she may not be interested in conventional fitness avenues like team sports, so allowing them to make a selection they are more comfortable with will have a higher likelihood of maintaining their enthusiasm and continued participation. Visit your local club to see what fitness options are available for your child to participate.