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Why Physical Activity is Important for Children?

6 July 2020

Today, most children prefer to spend their time indoors and this sedentary lifestyle can affect their health. Back in those day, the options of keeping children occupied or entertained indoors were limited, so children spent more time playing outside. But these days, with options like video games, trending TV shows, and the internet, children aren’t always as physically active as they should be.

Childhood is a time when children have a lot of energy, which is a great time to point them towards activities that will help them expel their energy in ways that are beneficial in the long run.

Staying physically active will also contribute to the development of strong bones and muscles, enhancing their social interactions as well. It benefits the body in many ways, such as:

  • Building muscle strength: Lifting things, including their own body weight, helps build muscular strength which in turn helps them to perform daily fine motor skills and gross motor skills with relative ease. Another important benefit is that when a child has good strength, they are more likely to have stronger tendons, ligaments and general joint health which reduces the risk of serious injury.
  • Enhancing cardiovascular capacity: It’s important for children to participate in regular cardiovascular activities as this helps to build a healthy heart and lungs.
  • Boosting self-esteem: As children continue to stay physically active, their strength increases and so does their self-esteem. They gain confidence.
  • Aiding concentration and alertness: Engaging in physical activities releases endorphins, which are the feel-good chemicals that improve mental focus and cognitive skills.
  • Promoting positive social interactions: Fun physical activities and mental stimulation with family and friends in a supportive environment give children the sense that they’ve achieved something new and challenging.
  • Overall good health: Staying physically active is also important for growing children because it helps to reduce the chances of them being overweight and obese.

Here are a few ways to keep your child physically active:
1. Stretch together
Stretching is not just beneficial for your child—it’s necessary. Stretching exercises, even if they are simple ones, can have a huge impact on the height of your child. There are lots of stretches your child can easily implement in their exercise routine to halt injuries and increase performance and overall health, for example, the cobra pose, the child’s pose (attach image) etc. which help in increasing flexibility in the spine while lengthening the core.

2. Skipping
Skipping regularly makes the heart muscles stronger and prevents the risk of cardiovascular disorders in childhood and later in life. It can help the proper functioning of the brain, increasing a child’s concentration and memory as skipping increases blood flow to the brain. Through different skipping skills and challenges, children gain newfound confidence in their own physical abilities.

3. Hanging
Hanging has been recommended for decades now, for parents who want their children to be taller. Hanging from bars also helps the spine elongate, which is an important part of becoming taller. Apart from regular hanging, you can also encourage your child to do pull-ups and chin-ups. Both make the muscles of the arm and the back stronger and are great exercises to help him keep fit.

4. Cycling
Cycling is considered as one of the best ways to reduce the risk of health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle. It is a low-impact yet healthy exercise that can be enjoyed by any age group – from young kids to older adults.

5. Hula Hooping
Hula hooping is a much-loved activity among kids, and keeping the hoop up at the trunk requires abdominal, oblique, and upper back muscle recruitment. Keeping the trunk muscles strong will help with posture, endurance, and total body coordination.

When engaging your child in any sport or activity, make sure it’s not too challenging where it feels out of reach for them. The goal is to get them to enjoy their activity so they are keener to engage in it and make it a habit, for themselves.

Growth is influenced by genetics, nutrition and other environmental factors. Please consult your healthcare professional further.
The information provided in this article is based on the writers personal experience and view. Any recommendations made about physical activity, nutrition source and benefits on this website should be consulted with your paediatric/ health professional. The information you receive in our blogs, and other communication do not take the place of professional medical advice. Any recommendations made about physical activity, nutrition or diet on this website should be consulted with your healthcare professional.

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