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Should Your Child Be On An Exercise Routine?

Posted 5 years ago by Lori Scholle

Parents have many responsibilities when it comes to raising their children.  Among these responsibilities is making sure their children grow up healthy and strong, that they do well is school and that they learn to care for themselves when they become grown ups.  Taking care of yourself as a grown up includes having good personal hygiene, eating healthy foods and exercising for good health.  Most parents focus on the personal hygiene and healthy food aspects of caring for yourself.  How do we teach our children about the importance of exercise?  Should your child be on an exercise routine?

Exercise is an important part of staying healthy and strong throughout every stage of life.  The benefits of exercise on our kid’s physical well-being are numerous and include clearer thinking, weight regulation, boosting their immune system, stress release, mood elevation and the building of strong muscles and bones.  Getting daily physical activity is something that parents should be encouraging kids to make a lifetime habit.  As parents our physical activity is something that is ”worked into” our already busy schedules and usually looks like a trip to the gym and spending an hour on the treadmill and lifting weights.  Do children like to get their exercise this way? No!

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.  This recommendation does not have mean 60 minutes of continuous activity,  it can be broken up into small increments throughout the day.  Kids are not usually receptive to being put on an exercise routine.  They get their physical activity during the time that they are playing.  Playing for children usually involves some sort of physical activity that includes beneficial exercise.  Think of all the things they love to do like dancing, bike riding, jump roping, hide-and-seek, catch, soccer and swimming.  The list of possibilities are endless so finding something your child likes should not be a problem.

Talk to your children about the importance of “playtime” and how their bodies love to move which helps them stay healthy and grow bigger and stronger.  Emphasizing the importance of “playtime” with your children on a daily basis will get them used to how it feels to exercise everyday and they will become accustomed to doing it everyday.  Pretty soon getting daily  exercise will come as naturally to them as brushing their teeth and getting dressed!