The lure of the TV, smart phones, computers, and gaming systems can keep kids on the couch for hours. If you’re older, you likely spent time outdoors riding bikes, shooting hoops, or playing tag. Exercise has enormous benefits. Here’s why it’s key to get your kids off the couch and outside daily for a session of healthy fun and fresh air.
Why Children Need Exercise
Outdoor activity strengthens the heart, lungs, and bones. It boosts energy, improves mood and sleep, and controls weight. Exercise should be fun, and children should try a variety of activities. Fitness enhances a child’s endurance, strength, and flexibility. Handstands, running, jumping, climbing on the monkey bars, and stretching can do a child a lot of good. There are many fun recreational sports to choose from as well.
Set Time Limits
Parents should set limits on how much time is spent watching TV, playing video games, or scrolling social media. Screen time should be limited to one hour a day for children ages 2 to 5. Kids younger than 18 months should only be allowed to video chat. Turn off all screens during mealtimes. When you watch TV with your children, stick to high quality shows.
Proper Exercise Guidelines
One hour of daily moderate to vigorous physical activity is recommended for kids and teens 6 through 16 years old. Strengthening activities should be included three days per week. Preschoolers can stick to around three hours per day of active playing.
How to Raise Fit Kids
Get your kids moving in fun age-appropriate activities. Set a regular schedule for physical activity. Be active together as a family. Embrace a healthy lifestyle and be a model for your kids. Even little things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help get you fit.
Start Kids Young
Young children love to play and be active. Get them involved in a healthy lifestyle when they’re little. Take the kids to a public park, take a family walk, ride bikes, or play an active game together. Enroll your kids in recreational sports. Give your children equipment that encourages physical activity.
Safety is key. Always wear protective equipment such as helmets, wrist or knee pads, and put on proper shoes and clothing. Make sure your children only play age-appropriate activities. Watch for signs of burnout. If your child is exhausted, injured, or can’t fully recover, they need a break. If your kid is exercising in the heat, make sure they put on sunscreen and drink plenty of water.
Growing Up Strong
Kids who have an active lifestyle do better as adults. They are more likely to stay at a healthy weight as they grow up. Active kids have a very low risk of obesity as compared to sedentary children. Nearly 20-percent of American children between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese. Lack of exercise is a key cause. Active kids perform better in school, make healthier choices as teens, and are less likely to have chronic diseases as adults.
Bring the Fresh Air Into Your Home
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