Importance of physical activity in children ~ Health Guide

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Importance of physical activity in children

Written by Mystic on Thursday, January 24, 2008

Is your baby a couch potato? Is he watching too much of television? A lot of parents are concerned today about the inactivity of their child. But parents need not worry anymore, as we will give them an insight on what exactly healthy activities are and how they can chanalize their child's energy into mentally relaxing and physically stimulating activities.

Growth: Interplay of physical growth and organ maturation

The task of the parents become doubly important as they have to ensure that their child not only attains appropriate weight but also gets enough nutrients for proper maturation of his organ systems.

Increase in weight can be achieved by a simple arithmetic calculation: the calories intake should be more than the calories spent. But remember, increase in weight does not always mean good health. Obesity in children is a cause for concern in many countries of the world today. Proper rate of growth and maturation for age is the criteria for good health.

Why should physical activities be promoted

All health experts lay emphasis on educating parents about the importance of physical activities of their children. Benefits of physical activities are many. Indulging in weight bearing (not weight lifting) activities stimulate bone growth and strengthens the bone. This augments the bony framework on which our body organ system stands. Physical activity improves co-ordination between muscles and increases muscle strength. Muscle compliments well with the joints and prevents any injury. Being able to take part in activities improves the child's self image.

Activities can be fun

Parents are advised to plan and promote physical activities in children by incorporating these in the routine of the family. Physical activities can be fun; you can go for cycling, jogging, or swimming. You can arrange for a football match in the colony with some small prize ceremony in the end. You can have a mock "World Cup" badminton in your backyard.

Setting a life time of healthy habits

Children idolize their parents. It is a good thing to lead by example, as this would have a lasting impact on their children. Early initiation into healthy life-style sets a lifetime of healthy habits that prevent the child from many preventable ailments like heart disease and osteoporosis.

Guidelines for activity

It has to be emphasized that the type of activity of children has to be in accordance to their age and balanced by a nutritious diet. The general growth patterns have to be monitored and periodically evaluated by an expert to recognize any deviation from the normal.

  • Children should be active in as many ways as they can. It can be in form of sports, recreational activity, community service or physical education.

  • Children and teenagers should carry out at least three, preferably more, sessions per week of vigorous (but not necessarily competitive) activities totaling 20 minutes or more each day.

  • Inactive leisure in the form of TV watching or playing video games should not substitute physical activity.

  • A variety of physical activities must be promoted. The activities can range from strength, endurance to flexibility exercises. It may also involve different parts of the body.

Where does rest come in

Well, a good rest after a hearty physical activity is a must. This is the time when the body consolidates its gains and re-energizes itself. It should be also remembered that though exercise is the greatest stimulator of growth hormone it is during sleep that the secretion of the growth hormone is the highest.

So get started

As you can see that the benefits of exercising not only keeps your baby happy while he is awake but also benefits him while he sleeps. It is through proper exercises that a child can reach his maximum physical potential and it is the parents duty to help him attain it.

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