When Should Children Start to Exercise?

Your children can and should begin exercising early, depending on their age, interests, capabilities, and physical condition. Kids who are active in their childhood tend to form and follow that powerful habit as an adult. These children are less likely to become obese or develop heart diseases later in life.

In fact, there is no age limit on when kids should start exercising. However, if your child has any medical conditions or takes medications, make sure to talk to a pediatrician about what types of exercise are appropriate and safe.

Benefits of Exercise for Children

Exercise is a vital component of any child’s development, which results in a lifetime of good health.  Physical activity and regular exercise in children is important for a wide variety of physical and cognitive reasons.

Here are some of the benefits that physical activity offers your child:

  • Promotes healthy growth and development
  • helps bones and muscles become stronger
  • Helps to achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevents type 2 diabetes and obesity
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Improves balance, flexibility, coordination and strength
  • Improves social skills
  • Improves concentration and thinking skills
  • Boosts academic performance
  • Promotes confidence and self-esteem
  • Helps children to sleep better at night
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Helps prevent depression

Encouraging Kids to Exercise

“You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or special classes to encourage your child to exercise,” says Patricia Nixon, PhD, president-elect of the North American Society of Pediatric Exercise Medicine.

These days the majority of children spend too much of their time either playing video games, surfing the internet, or watching television. To make matters worse, they often consume a good deal of junk food during these activities. The result is an increase in risk of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure for these children. Correspondingly, the American Heart Association suggests that childhood obesity is currently the number-one youth-related health concern for parents which is above drug and alcohol use. To overcome this problem, parents need to encourage their children to exercise.

Most adults suppose exercise as working out in the gym on a treadmill or lifting weights. But for kids, exercise means being physically active and playing.  To make your children to move around, limit the amount of time they spend watching TV, playing computer or video games. Try to replace these sedentary activities with other forms of physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily. These activities can be structured or play-based.

Play-based activities

Play-based activities are important for children of all ages but especially in kids under the age of 5. A game with a ball, dancing to music, plying at the park and games that stimulate a child’s imagination are good examples. These forms of exercise allow adults to get involved, don’t cost a thing and are fun for kids.

Structured activities

Exercise in the form of a class or team sport is what is referred to as a structured form of exercise. It can allow a child to develop specific skills such as gymnastics, soccer or swimming. Team sports can help to boost confidence and develop social skills, while learning to be a team player.

Allow your child to choose activities that appeal to them and that are age appropriate. Keeping it fun will allow the child to stay interested and remember to exercise yourself to set a good example.

Dayonix Pharma/ January 2019

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional regarding any medical condition. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in the blog and to describe best generally accepted current practices we cannot accept any liability for errors or omissions or for any consequences from application of the information given.

January 2, 2019