Any physical activity for children is significant for them to stay fit and active. Fitness is as important for kids as they are for elders. Kids should be physically active and should exercise regularly to be physically fit. Truth be told, exercise is the key to reduce some of the major health risks such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. According to experts, regular physical activity is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle.
What is Physical Activity?
Physical activity is any physical action created by skeletal muscles that require energy. It includes exercise or any other activities involving bodily movements such as playing, sports, running, working, walking, house chores, and recreational activities. Regular physical activity boosts our self-esteem, enhances mood and improve sleep quality, securing us less prone to depression, anxiety, stress and dementia. But our current lifestyle is reliant on technology, making us less physically active. Instead of playing outside, we often see our kids on mobile phones, tablets, or computers, either playing games or studying or watching cartoons or movies.
Although we often think those who are overweight or obese or some health issues should exercise, it’s not the point. Kids don’t need to be overweight for any exercise routine; the truth is to remain active and fit, they must exercise regularly. So here comes the parents’ role; they must guide their kids to do some exercises to prevent obesity and stay fit and healthy.
Benefits of Physical Activity for Children
Many research shows that inactive children grow as inactive adults, which means the younger generation will be prone to life-threatening health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. That’s why it’s crucial to encourage the importance of exercise in our children from a young age. In addition, regular physical activity or exercise has endless health benefits for children and young people as well, such as:
- Keep active, intelligent, and fit.
- Excellent opportunity to socialize
- Helps them to be disciplined
- Controls weight
- Improve concentration
- Raise academic scores
- Build stronger heart, bones and healthier muscles
- Healthy growth and development
- Boost self-esteem
- Correct posture and balance
- Lowers stress
- Improve good night’s sleep
The Best Things You Can do for Your Children
Usually, kids and teens do not care about the regular program of exercise. They do not have an interest in movements or aerobic exercise. Many gyms and equipment are not designed for children to exercise, which becomes the reason for the discouragement of kids. The scarcity of gyms and equipment can cover with the help of free play and organized team and individual youth sports. Your guidance and assistance are all that they need.
- Don’t pressurize; instead, motivate your kids and try keeping things more fun.
- It’s necessary to encourage and assist your child to find the activities they love and enjoy. When things are fun, and of his choice, your child will never see the exercise as a task or burden, and they will never ditch; in fact, he will stick at it.
- Assist the children in finding an organized sport that they like. That could be a team sport, such as basketball, baseball, soccer, football, or an individual sport, such as tennis, karate, ice-skating or dance.
- Let them choose the activities that are right for their age.
- Try to establish a regular schedule for physical activity and support more unorganized outdoor free play like swimming, walking or jogging.
- You can also encourage personal fitness and fun recreational activities.
- A combination of regular physical activity with a healthy diet is the key to a healthy lifestyle, especially for kids.
How Much Physical Activity do Children Need?
The amount of exercise that your child should be doing depends on your child’s age. Although it is crucial to know how much time kids need to exercise. AAP (The American Academy of Pediatrics) advise that kids be taking part in physical activities for at least 60 minutes per day. But it doesn’t mean that they do such activities for 60 minutes continuously. For example, if a child plays a game for 30 minutes during school, he can play another outdoor game at noon. The best ways to get children to be more active is to limit the amount of time spent in sitting activities or screen time, like watching TV or playing video games.
What Physical Activities Burn the Most Calories?
A healthy diet, and regular exercise are some of the best ways to lose weight and prevent childhood obesity. The primary aim of the exercise is that how many calories a kid is burning during exercising. But if the child is still gaining weight, then parents should care about their kid’s diet. The following information can help parents that which activity burns how many calories.
|Bicycling at 5 mph||1 Hour||about 174 calories|
|Jogging at 6 mph||1Hour||about 654 calories|
|Playing basketball||1 Hour||about 450 calories|
|Playing volleyball||1 Hour||about 274 calories|
|Playing tennis||1 Hour||about 450 calories|
|Playing football||1 Hour||about 498 calories|
|Roller skating at 9 mph||1 Hour||about 384 calories|
|Swimming||1 Hour||about 288 calories|
(This table is estimate based on a person weighing 150 pounds. A child weighing less will burn fewer calories, even at the same level of activity.)
Also Read: If you want to lose weight quickly, try to burn 400 calories easily with some simple workouts.
Points to Remember while Doing any Physical Activity
- Ensure your child is using proper protective equipment, including sportswear or footwear, to avoid the risk of injury.
- If your child has any medical condition that could cause an adverse effect, make sure to consult his pediatrician or doctor for proper guidance.
- A young adult can go for heavyweight training programs or resistance exercises but under a supervised trainer.
There are three essential elements of fitness of kids’ endurance, strength and flexibility. Parents should encourage their kids for a variety of activities of their interest. They can help their kid to choose such activities that can be alternate of exercise and fitness program.