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Developing a habit of regular physical activity is very important for kids. If started at an early age, it contributes to better growth and a healthy future as well. Good physical health will ensure mental fitness too.
Most kids are naturally inclined towards a physically active schedule and enjoy moving around and spending time in a playground, while some children prefer enjoying their favourite cartoon on television or staying hooked to video games. It is in such children that chances of obesity are quite high. With an overweight child comes many other health problems that hinder his normal life. Therefore, as parents, it is your role to ensure that they understand the importance of staying physically fit.
With the busy school schedules, it often becomes challenging for the kid to focus on physical health. This is when you need to play your role as an inspiration. It is your motivation that will help him grow into an adult with a fit body and mind. Many times, parents themselves become a hindrance in their child’s development. They are not comfortable in letting their child move freely, thereby, limiting his opportunities to run around and play. Such parents also emphasize a lot on studies and consider playing as a waste of time. Such attitude hampers the motivation in a child to play and promotes an unhealthy way of living. On the contrary, parents must stand as role models, teaching their kids why sedentary lifestyle is not a viable option.
Importance of Being Physically Active
Regular physical exercise provides a lot of benefits.
- Builds stronger bones and muscles
- Helps in controlling weight
- Reduces risk of heart borne diseases and problems of cholesterol and diabetes
- Gives better sleep
- Helps in developing a healthy outlook towards life
In fact, according to many studies, kids who are physically active are healthy and are more likely to do well in academics and become successful in life. It also helps in building self-esteem.
The Problem of Obesity
The proportion of obese and overweight kids has been increasing at a very high rate for the past few decades. There are many reasons for this epidemic, but most commonly it is because children are becoming sedentary. They are much less physically active and spend time sitting in one place. The best way to make kids more active is to put a restriction on the amount of sedentary activities like watching television and playing video games. Children under the age of two years should not be allowed to watch TV at all. Older kids should also not watch television for more than two hours in a day.
Your Role as a Parent
Find out ways in which you can contribute to your child’s healthy lifestyle.
- The initial and most important step is to keep your child motivated. Leading a healthy life involves many compromises and your child can not stay fully committed to it if he does not have the proper support from you. You can start by discussing why being physically active is important so he knows about the positive results that he will get.
- Become an inspiration for him. Let him see and learn from you what a healthy lifestyle leads to. Follow an exercising schedule and he will imitate you.
- Do not force him to take a particular physical activity just because you are doing it. Help him explore various options and then let him choose. Maybe he likes karate than swimming; let the choice be his.
- Adopt a nutritious food guide in the meals prepared at home. With physical activity a good diet is a must for your kid.
Follow these simple suggestions and let your young child grow up into a physically fit adult, away from any health problems.