Children and Exercise

These days, the idea of exercise for children seems like an alien concept. Many modern children seem to be couch potatoes in front of the TV or playing games on the computer or game console. The only part of their body that gets a workout is their thumbs on the game pad. Family life is another thing that is virtually non-existent. Children are focussed on their own electronic pursuits to the exclusion of all else while Dad and mum are out working long hours in order to afford the lifestyle and gadgets that are SUPPOSED to make life easier (ironic isn’t it!).

Thirty years ago this wasn’t the case, there were no game consoles or computers and television didn’t have the range of channels and programs aimed at children and teenagers. With the lack of indoor activities available children spent much of their time outdoors (weather permitting), riding bicycles, scooters, playing chasey with the neighbours kids, building cubby houses etc. Children also tended to walk to school rather than being driven.

Life has changed dramatically, in many areas it is unsafe for children to run around the way they could a generation ago. Circumstances have not encouraged children to exercise and because of this, exercise for children is becoming a lost art.

Outdoor activities have become ‘uncool’ (or ‘so ghey’ as teenagers say these days). As far as teenagers are concerned, everybody who is anybody has a Nintendo DSi and a latest model XBOX, Playstation or Wii as well as an iPod and a cell/mobile phone (preferably an iPhone). They don’t want to exercise, and frequently don’t want the company of others including their family.

Exercise is an essential part of a healthy life. It’s not enough for them to participate in physical education or sport at school. Parents need to teach their children the importance of exercise.

Is there a sport the whole family can enjoy? There are plenty of things you can do to encourage exercise for children like:

  • Arrange a family outing once a week and ride bikes, have a picnic and soccer game in the park or just shoot a few hoops.
  • Take the dog for a walk together
  • Like dancing? Get into Zumba Fit. Tremendous aerobic exercise and fantastic fun! You can do it at the gym in group classes or if you’re too self conscious buy the home kit.
  • Go swimming once a week
  • If they like computer games challenge them to a race on Wii sports
  • For younger children there are many games that connect to the tv and they can stand on the board attached to the tv and go through the motions of snow boarding or whatever.

Swimming is a fantastic sport, low impact on the joints but extremely effective. Have you ever noticed how tired your muscles are when you climb out of the pool? They shake like jelly if you’re not used to it. Of course, your child may need to learn to swim. Go to the pool together and spend the time swimming rather than standing around, as that won’t achieve anything.

As parents we have a responsibility to teach our children. You can make sure that your children can pass on the importance of physical activity to the next generation rather than exercise for children being a forgotten art for future generations.

source : weightlosstips4kids


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