It’s never too early to teach children how to stay healthy by including regular exercise in their daily routines. Developing good habits around eating and exercise when kids are young can give them a lifetime foundation in health that can help prevent numerous types of diseases and disabilities. Give your children the lifetime gift of knowledge about staying healthy by teaching them that exercise can be fun and help to keep them stay healthy.
Healthy eating habits, exercise and exposure to the sun have a substantial influence on the development of healthy bones in children and younger teens, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation. Regular exercise can help reduce some of the body aches associated with growing pains; and, weight bearing exercise helps build bone mass. Children who participate in 40 minutes of vigorous activity daily — such as running and jumping — develop stronger bone mass than those who do not get enough exercise, according to the Foundation.
Obesity in teens is a global epidemic, according to the British Medical Association, or BMA. The origins of obesity are related in part to the increase in automobile ownership, TV watching and computer use; and the decrease in teen participation in sports, according to the School of Psychology. The BMA reports that young people report feeling healthier when engaged in regular vigorous exercise like that provided by sports participation. There is also growing evidence that physical activity during childhood and adolescence provides young people with protection against developing obesity in later years.
Children and teenagers who exercise regularly have a better chance of maintaining healthy blood pressure, according to Kidshealth.org. Exercise helps a child maintain a healthy body weight and avoid obesity, which is a risk factor for hypertension. Both children and teens diagnosed with hypertension will also benefit from including regular aerobic exercise in their daily routines to lower blood pressure.
The School of Psychology notes that adolescents that participate in sports and other regular vigorous exercise show an improvement in their mental-emotional states. They experience less anxiety, are more able to tolerate the stress of daily life, have an increase in mood-enhancement, experience higher self-esteem, and an improved sense of body image.
Sources:British Medical Association: Preventing childhood obesity
Kidshealth.org: Hypertension — High Blood Pressure
International Osteoporosis Foundation: Bone Development in Young People
The Royal College of Psychiatrists: Physical Activity and Mental Health
School of Psychology:
Young People: Physical Health, Exercise and Recreation
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