According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one third of all kids aged between 10 and 17 have a weight problem and are either overweight or obese. That does not come as a shock, since less than 25% of them participate in a moderate physical activity for 60 minutes as the American Medical Association recommends.
There are numerous reasons that lead to this condition. More junk food wherever you turn, plus heavier interaction with modern technologies like mobile phones and gaming consoles have resulted in low levels of physical activities in kids unlike any other time in history.
Their parents and teachers need to educate both their kids and other parents on the importance of physical activity at a younger age. Apart from the gym class (which, honestly, few kids enjoy) there are numerous specialized kid-friendly indoor playgrounds like Uptown Jungle Avondale that can spark kids’ interest in exercise through various fun activities.
Why Do Children Exercise Less?
The main reason for this has to be technology. Devices like smartphones and gaming consoles are widespread and often divert kids’ time and energy away from other activities. They are not necessarily bad, as long as they are used in moderation and don’t occupy all of your kids’ free time.
On the other hand, in most cases parents are to blame in a large part. You cannot expect children to appreciate the value of exercising if all you do is spend time in front of the TV or the tablet. That is why you need to set the example your kids will gladly follow.
Finally, mass urbanization has left kids with little to no space to play and roam around. And in some cases, parks and other public areas are far too dangerous for children to visit alone. That is why specialized playgrounds that offer physical entertainment for kids of all ages are growing in popularity and are a perfect way to introduce your children to exercise.
The Benefits of Exercise for Children
In this article, we’ll give you the ten main reasons why it’s never too early to start exercising and what benefits regular physical activity has at a young age:
- Children who engage in physical activity at least an hour a day are at a lower risk of becoming obese.
- Higher rates of physical activity are linked to improved concentration and better reading and math grades.
- As physical and cognitive abilities are linked, developing their body will undoubtedly benefit their mind.
- Physical activities based on games that require sensory input help the brain develop better and are likely to make physical activity more enjoyable at a later age.
- Children who start exercising early are more likely to become active as adults.
- Aerobic activity is directly linked to neural connections and the size of the key brain structures.
- Frequent physical activities that require balance and coordination are linked to improved emotional responses.
- Regular exercise can help children deal with depression and anxiety.
- Regular training helps children become more independent, and care more for their health and image.
- Children who exercise are more likely to develop discipline, and have shown improved behavior in the class.
As you can see, physical activity is essential to kids’ development into functional and healthy adults who will lead a healthy and happy lifestyle.