Should Children Bother To Exercise

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

One of the most common and frequently asked questions from parents all over the globe is what is the best way to raise their kids to be strong and healthy human beings. Most, if not all the questions relate to them participating in exercise. Therefore, to cover the topic of children and exercise, I will answer some of the most common questions in this article and then  give my best recommendations on what you can do to get your kids fit and healthy in no time at all.

Before we actually get into answering questions, I think it is very important to understand exactly what kids of this generation are actually facing. If we are completely honest, then we can all see that most kids of the modern age are not that active at all. Most kids would rather sit indoors and laze about than get outdoors, which is resulting in them getting the title of the unhealthiest generation to ever exist. Things are moving downhill rather rapidly.

Just 35 years ago, almost 60% of children in America would either ride a bike or walk to school. Today, that number has reduced to a pitiful 12%, with no signs of it improving ever again. These are the facts that you just can’t deny anymore.

Two kids exercising with a woman

Exercising among children is very important for a healthy development. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Simply look around at the kids in your neighbourhood and you will notice that most of them are not playing and running about, but are more engaged with their iPads and laptops than with balls and playing tag. The sad thing is that inactive and sedentary children usually grow up to have the same qualities, whereas the children that actually were fit and active would grow up to be extremely fit and active adults.

According to a recent study, physically fit kids have  [1]faster and more robust neuro-electrical brain responses during reading than their less-fit peers. However, there is some really great news and that is the fact that you as a parent can completely change this. Your child has been born with a natural instinct to want to move about and be active.

All you need to do is push them in that direction and show them the way. Getting your kid to love exercise is as simple as that. Now that we know some of the backstory, we can move onto actually answering some important questions.

Lifting Weights May Hinder Your Child’s Growth

Everyone and their grandparents has probably heard of the so-called “fact” that lifting weights will cause a child to stop growing. However, the facts are radically different from these assumptions that most people make. If we take a look at the research, then we will come to find that there isn’t a single piece of solid evidence which proves to us that weight lifting will actually stunt a child’s growth. In fact, the research shows us that children that do lift light weights consistently develop stronger bone structure, have leaner and fitter physiques, and overall have much better health in the immediate and long term. Believe me; there isn’t a simple answer you can give to the question of whether or not weightlifting will actually stunt a child’s growth. Yes, if your child was to lift weights that were too much for him or her, then this would inevitably lead to injury, but of course this can happen in any sport where physical activity is required. The little evidence that is out there seems to suggest that a child who does lift weights will actually grow up to be a stronger and healthier human being than a child who doesn’t.

Is There a Need For Structured Fitness Programs?

It all depends on the child in question. If you are blessed to have a child that loves to be physically active and is constantly running around doing things that he loves, then you are not going to need to put him in any sort of fitness program. Structured fitness programs only become necessary when you have a child who actually prefers to live the lazy, sedentary life.

Personal Guidelines For Your Kid’s fitness

These are the exact tips that I actually implement with my kids on a daily basis and I have found them to be very effective. These are tips that I’d encourage you all to implement if you want to raise your child to be fit and active and also love every moment of it.

Provide Ad Libitum Play: Make Play the Complete Basis

It is really important that you are focused on play, because that is the best way to encourage your child to love health and fitness. Every child loves to play, and it is usually involves something that requires movement. Most kids are going to want to run around and do active things when they are playing, and the more you push them to do this, the more they are going to love being physically active.

Push Them to Climb

Whatever they can climb, be it a tree, pull up bar, a rope, or whatever…just let them climb it! To encourage them further, you should get a rope or a pull up bar installed in your home so that as soon as your child is old enough they will want to get up and climb. This is a great way to keep your kid active and away from boredom, while also being an important part of remaining strong and toned.

Push Them to Jump Around

Your kids are naturally going to want to jump and run, which means that they might fall down a lot too. The best way to minimize and prevent any serious injuries from occurring will be to actually take the time to teach them how to fall down in the safest possible manner. This will minimize the chances of any serious injury happening and it will actually reduce the chances of them getting injured in the first place.

In the end, you just need to push them to be more active from the moment that they can walk about. The more you encourage them to be active, the more likely it is that they are going to enjoy it and want to do it on a regular basis. Once this desire to be active is inside them, nobody is going to ever be able to take it away and it will be with them for the rest of their lives. There is no gift out there that is better than that!

AUTHOR BIO: If you want to read more of Thomas’ articles on subject matters such as the renal disease diet and the kidney failure treatment, then check out his blog over at Protection Status
About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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