Weight problems among children have been causing a lot of concern in recent years. Inactivity and lethargy in the childhood are the two main reasons for obesity and diseases like coronary artery diseases, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. According to the American Heart Association, children and adolescents should commit to at least an hour of good physical activity every day to maintain good health.
Parents generally are happy and content if their children come off well in academics and do not fall sick often. But health experts are not satisfied with that. They emphasise on the kids participating in physical activities to stay fit and to keep obesity at bay. We generally associate ‘exercise’ with ‘adults’ by thinking of adults going for jogging, walking or work out or even for outdoor games. We forget exercising our children. The little cherubs spend the precious moments of their life just sitting in the bus, class, watching TV or playing on the computer.
They do not have physical tasks as everything works on their finger tips at the push of a button. And we do not think whether they play regularly or participate in enough physical activities. We are not concerned as long as they do their homework and do not make a mess at home and school. But what you cultivate in the childhood remains till the end. Physical inactivity and consequent health risks would grow up with the child.
Physical activity relates to longevity. Not only in the physical, it helps on the social and emotional realms too. Regular exercise would help a child in staying healthy and happy even in his adulthood. It helps in
- Reducing weight which can have physiological and emotional benefits
- Tuning up the body with a healthier bone structure
- Reducing blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers
- Increasing the good HDL cholesterol
- Boosting up morale and self-confidence
- Overcoming Stress
- Increasing concentration and learning ability
- Handling the daily life situations with a better outlook
- Getting a good night’s sleep.
Parents can set example to kids by engaging themselves in physical activities and by encouraging the children to join them. They can promote the interests of the children in outdoor games and activities. Games like basketball, soccer, cricket and tennis and activities like walking, running, swimming, skating or even dancing can be fun. Parents and the school staff should make sure that the child is eating and playing well regularly.
A healthy, balanced diet + regular physical activities = a healthy posterity.