I remember spending most of my childhood outside, playing, not sitting with my ipad (we never had hand held devices back then) or watching TV, like most kids nowadays. What’s the result of this sedentary lifestyle coupled with the intake of junk food on our kids? There are more children and teens overweight or obese now than ever before.
It’s important for our children to be active. We are their role models, the lesson of getting up and getting active needs to be taught at a young age. Besides the psychological benefits of keeping active, let’s look at some of the physical benefits.
Accompanied with a healthy eating plan, physical activity helps manage body weight: burning calories instead of storing it as fat. Diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea and asthma are some of the health risks associated with being overweight.
Physical activity makes bones and muscles strong. Does one consider the value of strong bones? Strong bones provide strength, balance and a better posture. Strong bones also help protect against osteoporosis. Strong muscles and core strength are important for performing everyday functions such as holding a pencil (fine motor skills) or climbing (gross motor skills).
Physical activity helps manage cholesterol. Not only adults are affected by high cholesterol. Children may also have high levels of cholesterol which can cause health problems such as heart disease.
Getting active increases lung capacity and draws more oxygen into the body, helping to expel waste gases.
Exercise plays an important role in preventing certain cancers. People who exercise often have less chance of developing some of the most common cancers, like breast cancer and colon cancer.
Exercise reduce stress levels. When levels of stress reduce, blood pressure and the risk for heart disease reduces.
When kids are active, their bodies simply just work better. So get up, get moving, have fun and stay healthy.
Written by: Rene Reid
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