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Benefits of Exercise for Children

Do you have an energetic mini version of yourself running around like crazy? Does your child own countless technology devices such as different games or even an iPad?

A recent study shows that 38% percent of children use an iPad or smartphone before they can even string together a full sentence.

Growing up now vs even 10 years ago is completely different. Kids now sit in front of a tv or computer and spend less and less time outside or participating in some form of physical activity. Regular physical activity for children is just as important as it is for adults. Research shows that not only does physical activity reduce our risk of major illnesses but also boosts our self-esteem, mood, and sleep quality. Additionally, it makes us less prone to stress, depression, and dementia. Physical activity for children can have a major positive impact early and later on in life.

Regular physical activity has lots of health benefits for child, such as:

 Improving strength, coordination, balance, and posture  Providing an opportunity to socialize with others  Increases concentration in other activities  Has a positive impact on academic scores  Builds healthier hearts, bones, and muscles  Encourages positive growth and development  Improves self-esteem and lowers stress  Improves sleep quality

It is very important to make sure you are keeping the activity fun. Children get bored quickly, and if they feel as if it is a chore, they will likely not want to participate.

How much should your child exercise? That depends on age.

Children under the age of five are doing physical activity any time they are doing something. This could be “tummy time”, rolling, or even reaching for toys. Consider the environment in which your child is in. Provide them with an environment that stimulates movement experiences. If your child can walk encourage activities such as running or playing in the park, throwing and catching games, climbing obstacles, using a scooter, or being on a trampoline.

Children between the ages of 5-18 should take part in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes each day. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, riding a bike, walking the dog, playing games, running, swimming, or playing a sport. Your child should also take part in activities that are higher intensity and include resistance movements such as gymnastics, tennis, climbing, or pushups.

No matter what age your child is the most important thing to consider is safety. Make sure they are in appropriate clothing and use the appropriate equipment for such activity to minimize their risk of injury.


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