Teaching Children How to Love and Appreciate Exercise

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Teaching Children How to Love and Appreciate Exercise

We all want our kids to grow healthy and strong. And one of the ways by which kids can remain healthy is by exercising regularly. But how can you teach a 10-year-old kid to appreciate the health benefits of exercise? Here are some tips.

Realize How Kids Exercise

When adults want to exercise, they usually go to the gym or lift weights. With kids, it’s definitely different. Exercise for kids means playing and getting physically active regularly. Kids exercise during school breaks, gym class, sports, dance practices or while playing games such as tag.
Making your kids engage in physically active activities can help them get accustomed to living an active lifestyle. This helps them develop stronger bones and muscles, enabling them to run or jump faster. It also keeps their body lean and helps control body fat. This reduces their risk of becoming overweight. When they grow older, they won’t have Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. It also improves their self-esteem and helps them interact with people better.

Make Them Play

Good aerobic exercise for kids includes basketball, bicycling, ice-skating, inline skating, soccer, swimming, tennis, walking, jogging and running. These exercises increase breathing and circulation. Strength activities for kids include doing push-ups, stomach crunches, pull-ups, and other exercises that help tone and strengthen muscles. However, these exercises are not done without the supervision of an experienced adult. Make your kids do stretching in the form of doing cartwheels, reaching for a toy or practicing a split. Stretching improves flexibility and allows easy movement of joints and muscles.

Kids should get about 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily. For toddlers, exercise should last for 1 ½ hours per day. For preschoolers, they should get active for 2 hours. For school age children, exercise should last for 1 hour or more to be broken in blocks of 15 minute each.

The tip is to make your kids participate in a variety of activities which are appropriate for their age. You should also establish a regular schedule for your kid’s physical activity. Make physical activity a daily routine and make your kid choose tasks that require physical activity such as taking stairs instead of the elevator. Also, keep these physical activities fun not only for your kid but for you.

Don’t Keep Them Inactive

The problem nowadays is that a lot of kids are becoming more and more sedentary. This is because of television and video games. These activities allow kids to sit down for longer periods of time than being physically active. One way of making your kids move is by limiting the amount of time for watching TV or playing video games. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under 2 years old should not watch TV and kids older than 2 years old should watch TV for just 1 to 2 hours a day.

Feed Them Right

Your kid cannot get active if he or she lacks good nutrition. Make him or her eat a balanced diet filled with nutrients and the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Diet is essential in building and repairing body tissues, especially during and after exercise.

Set an Example

If you want your kids to exercise, why don’t you exercise too? Setting an example for your kid can make your kid follow healthy habits without you even realizing it.

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