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Exercise and Fitness for Children

Exercise and Fitness

Most children are interested in watching television, playing video games and sitting in front of their computer. These hobbies, if done in moderation can do much to develop a child’s brain. However, many children and teens participate in these activities excessively. Excessively watching television, playing video games and sitting in front of their computer can lead to damage to their intellectual, emotional, social and physical health.

Many youth lead sedentary lifestyles. According to the American Medical Association, two out of three adolescents cannot pass a basic fitness test. They also report that teens who are not physically active will be more likely to engage in practices which are detrimental to their health, such as smoking cigarettes and/or marijuana, drinking, and not wearing a seat belt.

A physically active lifestyle will help decrease the risk of your child becoming overweight and involved with drugs. The earlier that physical activity is introduced and made part of daily living, the more likely a child is to incorporate it into their life as adults. However, if you have an older child, it is not too late to develop a love for exercise and fitness in them.

The key to getting children enthusiastic about exercise and fitness is by letting them choose which activities they want to participate in. Forcing a child to do aerobics or jog when they would prefer to skate, dance, snowboard, bicycle, surf, or play soccer will only make the child dread exercise. Sit down with your child, find out what their interests are and find a way to incorporate it into their lives.

Younger children can benefit by having bicycles, skipits, jump ropes, kick balls, trampolines, and other items which will peek their interest. Older children and teens may be more interested in joining a dance team, tennis or other sports team, or joining a health club where they can be around others. They should also have access to bicycles, roller blades, and skateboards.

Don’t forget that you can do activities as a family which is fun and beneficial to everyone’s health. This can include hiking, skiing, nature walks, rock climbing, walking pets, or a family baseball game in the back yard. When children see their parents participating in exercise and fitness activities, they will become more inclined to do so, as well.

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