The past couple of decades have witnessed increasing number of medical problems amongst kids. Obesity, for instance, has become a major health issue for children. Fast food culture and drastic changes in the entertainment methods have been the nemesis of a healthy childhood. Computer, high – tech gaming systems and the most disturbing cell phone, all these have made life better but at the cost of physical inactivity amongst children. Not many little ones are seen enjoying games in the playground, going on a bicycle ride with friends or practicing sports.
It is not that we need to exercise only during older ages or middle ages. Right from the childhood to old age, exercises are beneficial for the body. Our body has been regarded to be pious in many civilizations as the soul resides in it. Maintaining its beauty, health, longevity and agility imparts us happiness, energy and motivation to perform our life duties. Children are the builders of a nation and their good health is essential for the future of a country. Amongst benefits of exercise for children, health benefits and psychological advantages are the most obvious. Not only that, exercises in the form of sports or games also help children to develop social skills.
Physical Health is the Real Wealth Why is exercise important for children? Childhood is the phase of development. Bones, muscles, immune system and mental growth all are in growing process in our childhood days. If there is an impairment in the growth of any body area, the other systems are invariably affected. Some key benefits of exercise for a child are as follows.
Strength Building: Our body needs to feel strength so that we can perform routine tasks and play sports. If you stop using your hands, say for two days, you’ll feel as if the hands have paralyzed. To develop strengths in muscles, children must climb doing handstands, throwing balls, picking light weights (anything does the work: baseball bat, small bucket of water). To develop stamina in leg muscles, children must be made to run 50 to 100 meters and play soccer. The biggest advantages of strengthening muscles are that it reduces the risk of injuries.
Stretching: Stretching is a great way to improve body flexibility. A flexible body also decreases injury risk and it helps to relax tensed muscles.
Ideal Weight/Height: Exercises help children in maintaining proper digestive and circulatory system. These indirectly help the body to keep good metabolism rate and contribute to balanced growth in weight and height.
Healthy Bones: Bones, muscles and joints – these are the most used areas by children. Physically active children have stronger bones, flexible joints and hence they have better body fitness.
Sleep: In this Internet age, children are suffering from insomnia problems which is scary. Children are always full of energy and if they’re not tired, they may find it difficult to sleep. Due to academic workload or poor TV watching habits minds of children becomes tired but the body remains restless leading to sleeping problems. Being involved in sports, the body engages and energy is dispensed. This leads to sound sleep at night.
A Healthy Mind Resides in a Healthy Body Children who are active physically have a better memory and concentration power – so says hundreds of medical studies. Exercising reduces stress, anxiety and improves mood of children. For children, playing is the most ideal form of exercise and by getting involved in that, they feel a sense of control and confidence in their abilities. Children who’re into sports and games have been found to have better emotional health as they develop the ability to take losing and winning with equanimity. A good health triggers certain hormones in the brain that helps in improved brain functioning. Psychological benefits of exercise for children are numerous especially through Yogic exercises that help in improving breathing as well as concentration power of brain.
Wisdom Through Sports, A Precious Virtue Sports and exercises prepare our minds and body to face challenges in life. Sports, mind you, has a great role in development of character and temperament. There is a lot to learn in sports & games. That’s why, extra curricular activities like gymnastics, annual sports meet, athletic events, swimming and even dances must be taught to children so that they can learn to exercise better control on their brains and bodies. Social benefits of exercise for children include the ability to develop in team, leadership qualities and increased confidence to face people. Learn more about relaxation exercises for children.
Parents must become role models for their children, so that the kids can learn about various exercises. If your kids find exercises boring, better involve them in playing their favorite sports. Also don’t exercise stiff control over their schedule. Let them enjoy everything and definitely allow some fixed time for television watching! Lastly, no matter what sports or games you choose, ensure their safety and well being is not challenged.