Physically Active Children: Reaping the Benefits of Exercise

father and son basketball

Children are naturally active, but they need encouragement to drive this need for movement and enforce it as a good habit to continue practicing. There are so many ways to encourage their love of movement. Appeal to their exact interests at the time to make it something that they will prioritize. Martial arts classes, hip-hop lessons, and joining a junior rock climbing group will make your children excited and eager to be active and exercise regularly.

A good way to make exercise feel like a natural part of their daily lifestyle is for you and your spouse to become active as well. It is okay if you run out of breath or sweat a lot initially. This is a sign that you are exercising effectively, and your children will find your willingness to keep going to be very inspiring. Exercise is vital for your well-being and ensures that you are around for a long time to guide and love your children throughout their lives.

Exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight, as well as healthy bones, muscles, and joints. It keeps your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and blood pressure issues low. Children who make a habit of exercising from a young age can prevent these diseases from affecting them, especially if they are genetically predisposed to them. Exercise also ensures that children fall asleep easily and get a good night’s rest. That is always something that parents will appreciate.

Talk to the Pediatrician

Your children’s pediatrician should be able to give you an idea of how much exercise is good for your child based on their age and size. Children grow fast and get hungry easily. Making sure to meet their dietary needs and keep them readily supplied with healthy snacks is important for their mental health as well.

They can easily develop unhealthy food-related behaviors if you try to restrict them or make them eat specific foods at set meal times only. The doctor can help you avoid this by advising you on adding to and improving your family diet. This will ensure that the exercise is fueled by a proper diet and will not make your child lose needed weight.

Emphasize Fun

The more your child enjoys the activity, the more likely they will be to do it regularly. This is where sports clubs and fun classes come in and give your child a chance to get active with peers.

Get the entire family involved in doing fun exercise activities so that they develop a love for it that extends beyond the class. You could go for walks together as a family after dinner. They can also take turns walking the dog with you or your spouse as a parent-child bonding activity. Weekends are also a great opportunity to go swimming or hiking as a family and enjoy bonding in the fresh air while enjoying exercise.

children walking to school

Practical Exercise

Some activities are a form of exercise but can be practical as well. Begin walking your children to and from school if the school is near enough to home. Teach them how to ride bikes and send them to visit their friends or to school on the bike. Park at the far end of the open-air parking area when you go to buy groceries. This will encourage the family to practice healthy activities like putting on sunscreen regularly and also give them a bit of stretching out before getting into the grocery shopping.  

Make It a Treat

Allow your children to invite their friends to go swimming or on short hikes around the area. Talk to the parents of your children’s friends and arrange camping trips to adventure parks where they can try out many fun activities like hiking, rock climbing, waterfall diving, and mushroom hunting.

Getting to develop these important childhood memories and do these activities with their friends is very important for your child’s development and growth. They will become more confident, trust themselves and their own abilities, and develop strong bonds with their friends.

Get Competitive

Children can be motivated very easily through competition. Race them to the dog park or compete to do the most skips with a skipping rope within a set time and give out rewards and losses for the winners and losers.

They can win the opportunity to choose their chores for the week or pick the dinner menu for the weekend. Properly managed, this is a good way to breed healthy competition and work out any aggressiveness between siblings.

Active children are smarter, more focused in class, and better able to control their impulsive behaviors. Exercising as a family will also help parents develop stronger bonds with children while they are young. These bonds can last through the difficult teenage years and grow stronger into adulthood.

Consider giving gifts that encourage children to be active. Basketball hoops and balls are a good family gift for Christmas that everyone can look forward to enjoying in the summer. Also, look into including some form of exercise during vacations. Give them time and opportunity to do nothing and laze about but have activities ready for the moment they get bored. Active children will always get bored fast and need exercise to keep them entertained and happy.

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