The Importance of Exercising for Kids | AD

*This is a collaborative guest post

Most of us know that physical exercise is important for children. It helps them build healthy bodies and combat the growing trend of childhood obesity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 5 school age children and you people in the United States suffers from obesity.

While that alone should highlight the importance of exercise for children, it provides many more longer-term benefits that a central to healthy development.

Below are some of the advantages exercise provides for growing children.

Improves balance and flexibility – Alongside improvements to overall physical fitness, exercise also improves muscles strength. This allows for greater balance and coordination skills that are required for everyday life.

Develops gross and fine motor skills – A motor skill is an action that involves using muscles. Gross motor skills are larger movements and actions that develop during activities such as running and jumping. Fine motor skills relate to the use of muscles in hands, fingers and toes which may come from gripping and climbing.

Assists with concentration – It’s no secret that physical activity can aid with concentration and thinking skills. Exercise supports the growth and maturation of new brain nerve cells, and strengths their interconnections.

Helps with posture – Developing good posture at an early age is critical, as poor posture may cause ongoing neck and back pain, as well as fatigue and headaches. Certain exercises should be encouraged to help with posture (see more below).

Relieves energy, stress and anxiety – Growing children often have too much pent-up energy. This can not only lead to stress and anxiety, but also poor sleep patterns. Exercise helps immensely in providing a consistent sleep cycle for kids.

Keeps bones strong – Certain exercises that feature weight bearing activities (such as skipping) helps grow bones to maximum thickness, helping prevent osteoporosis later in life.

Boosts confidence and social skills – Children are never too young to strengthen their social skills. Team sports, playgrounds and other physical activity interactions helps build confidence and independence.

Sets good habits – Exercising at an early age lays the foundation for healthy habits into teenage and adult years. This is especially important as studies have shown physically active children grow up to be healthier in their habits.

Encouraging Children to Exercise

Your kids may be reluctant to engage in physical activity, especially in an age where video games, smartphones and tablets are more prevalent than ever.

Encourage exercise by suggesting fun activities. Team based sports are a fantastic way to get kids involved with physical exercise and helps to beat the weekend boredom.

Perhaps look at purchasing play equipment for the backyard. There are so many options available today, from swings and playsets to monkey bars and climbing frame.

Finding activities together can also go a long way in getting your kids outside. Walking the dog or going for a swim or even bike riding together can be perfect choices to promote physical activity.

Finally, the most important thing to remember is to make exercising fun. This will go a long way in both getting your children exercising and sticking with it.

*This is a collaborative guest post

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  • One of my kids hates actually ‘doing’ things and getting him off the sofa requires a shoehorn. He really enjoys it once he’s up and out though! I think nowadays sometimes children just automatically go for the easy options far more than we ever did.

  • Exercise has never been a routine part of my life so I’m working hard to make sure that it *is* a routine part of my children’s lives – making sure that we find something that they love and will continue.

  • Even just letting them play outside with their friends – it all counts! Our 8 year old does a lot of swimming – 4 sessions a week – and I think that’s plenty of organised exercise sessions, taking into account his PE lessons too. He does also enjoy playing outside with his friends on his scooter and playing football, on the swings, etc, though I know that’s not always possible for everyone depending on where you live. x