All parents want their children to be healthy. Today, children are overall less active than they were 20 years ago. Not only that, but maintaining healthy eating habits has become more challenging in today's busy culture. The result is that children are more prone to obesity than ever before. Encouraging physical fitness at a young age not only helps avoid health and weight problems in youth, it also sets them up for a more healthy and active lifestyle in adulthood.
What Age Should Kids Start Exercising?
While your five to ten year old child is not going to be hitting the gym, he or she should certainly be spending time on physical fitness activities on a regular basis. At this age, the focus should be on fun. Kids should learn to associate exercise with fun, and not think of it as work. This is the best way to set them up to love exercise from an early age.
Another good way to set children up to love being active and fit is by setting a good example. If they see you out walking, being active and enjoying exercise, they will be more likely to do the same.
What Kinds Of Exercise Should My Kids Do?
For younger children, exercise should be focused on fun and movement. Children are naturally playful and energetic, and while there is nothing wrong with channeling that into a structured activity, this is not the age for a strict exercise routine in the traditional sense. Things like dance, martial arts and sports, like soccer and softball, are great for keeping kids active, allowing them to learn a skill and team building. Walks should be encouraged, as well as bike riding and other physical activities.
As kids get older and move into their teens, they may feel an increased pull towards more sedentary activities, such as video games and television. It is good to continue limiting these activities and continue encouraging health and fitness. At this age, some kids may get more serious about sports. If this is not the case, that's okay, but they can certainly spend time each day doing physical activity.
Starting young is a good way to ensure that your child not only stays healthy during their childhood, but also develops a love for physical activity. If your child needs coaching on what exercises can help them at their sport, he or she may benefit from a session with a personal trainer. Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo specializes in sports training. Contact him to discuss what he can do for your son or daughter.
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