7 reasons why you should introduce exercise to your kids early on
Active kids mean healthy, happy, and confident kids! Here are 7 benefits of exercise in kids, plus tips on how to encourage them to have an active lifestyle
We are all aware of the benefits of exercise in kids, but nowadays we see kids usually plopped in front of the TV instead of playing outside and running around. While we may find it easier to get them to behave by passing a device that will keep them occupied, this sedentary lifestyle affects them in the long run. One, they have a higher chance of being obese, and two, they don’t get to develop their motor skills as much.
But first, let’s get one thing clear: exercise isn’t just about blocking off an hour or more to go to the gym, lift weights or run laps. For kids, exercise can even be as simple as playtime. From riding a bike to playing a simple game of catch, you can squeeze in some exercise time for your children. And best of all, you don’t need to invest in any fancy equipment for that!
Here are seven great benefits of exercise in kids and why you should encourage them to have an active lifestyle early on.
1. Get physical for a better body!
Exercise helps your body in more ways than one—not just for better bones and muscles! While aerobic sports like swimming or biking help build endurance, even a simple game of tag can help strengthen the heart and help it deliver oxygen to the body better. Climbing on monkey bars builds on strength, while yoga stretches, and gymnastics help build on flexibility.
Tip: Take your children to the playground once in a while, so they meet with other kids and have tons of fun running around and playing!
2. Get kids ready for school!
A great way to spend the summer vacation before school starts is through exercise! This helps cure boredom (what else will kids do besides waste away in front of the TV?) and gets kids started on an active lifestyle. Plus, exercise helps improve their hand-eye coordination, which is great for arts and crafts or even playing musical instruments and more!
Tip: You can enroll them in swimming, ballet, or even soccer classes to keep them busy. This will help prepare them for PE classes once school starts, and give them a healthier, happier boost of energy.
3. Give kids a boost of confidence!
When kids win a soccer game, finally ride that bike without training wheels, or even get to the other side of the monkey bars on their own, they feel a sense of fulfillment. These accomplishments, in turn, will make them happier and give them a boost of self-esteem and confidence to tackle problems and to do tasks with ease.
Tip: Start a reward system with your kids to motivate them to exercise. For example, twenty jumping jacks a day gets them 5 minutes of screen time. Or, you can give them a piece of their favorite snack if they run two laps around the basketball court without stopping.
4. Get kids started on a healthy lifestyle
Exercise can help kickstart a healthy lifestyle for your kids. Regular aerobic exercise helps kids sleep faster. Plus, they spend more time in deep sleep and wake up less at night. This helps the body renew and repair itself, which is great for your kids’ overall health.
Also, exercising makes you more conscious about the food that you eat, which encourages a healthy diet. Overall, exercising has a positive effect on your lifestyle because it helps you make smart decisions on your day-to-day lives.
Tip: Introduce kids to healthy food like fruits and vegetables, or even food alternatives like whole wheat instead of white bread as a post-exercise snack. This will give them renewed energy and the right nutrients that will in turn motivate them to exercise.
5. Teach kids life skills
Allowing kids to exercise builds on their life skills— from better communication to commitment and better time management. Setting aside a certain time to practice and scheduling what time your kids plan on exercising is a good example of time management.
This is important especially for juggling tasks both at school and at home. On the other hand, committing to a set number of sessions and showing up early during practice teaches kids about to stick to what they’ve agreed on.
Tip: It may be tempting to step in during conflicts with playmates, but stepping back and letting your kid handle himself or herself is a good way to build on life skills. That way, they get to learn to stand up for themselves, state their opinions clearly, or reconcile and forgive.
6. Help kids learn good values
Sports and exercise can foster values like camaraderie and teamwork among teammates, hard work and patience when practicing that gymnastics routine, and determination to meet their running goal or to improve their swim time. Among the benefits of exercise in kids is that it also teaches them empathy and kindness during accidents or good sportsmanship during moments when the team loses.
Kids even learn about resilience—to keep doing better on the next game. These values stick with them even until adulthood, which is why it’s better to establish a good foundation when they’re young.
Tip: Enroll your kids in summer programs for team sports like basketball or soccer. Being surrounded by kids will help them learn how to make friends, teach them how to deal with different people, and help them learn good values.
7. Great bonding experience with family!
Exercising can be a family bonding activity! On weekends or holidays, take the time to go with your kids to the park so they can run and play, teach them how to ride a bike, or even go for Yoga and Zumba classes together.
Kids love spending time with their parents any chance they can get, so use the opportunity to get fit while you’re at it, too! You can even set up playdates with other kids, so that your kids can learn how to make friends and play with people his or her age.
The benefits of exercise in kids are plenty and enrolling them in sports and exercise classes, such as the classes offered by Ready Steady Go Kids, gives both kids and parents an opportunity to get active together. Ready Steady Go Kids classes are designed to improve overall health and well-being through a non-competitive environment, allowing kids to focus on the fun of playing sports while getting their much needed exercise.
Tip: Exercising together is a great way to build memories with your kids. Make sure to document the moments by taking photos and compiling them into an album or scrapbook that you can fondly look back to in the future.
Eager to introduce your active kid to sports and exercise early on? Visit the Ready Steady Go Kids Philippines website for more information by clicking this link: www.readysteadygokids.com.ph/enroll.