Encouraging a child to stay active and physically fit is far and away one of the most important things you can do for them. A growing number of American children are overweight or obese, and virtually all of these cases are caused by a lack of exercise combined with poor eating habits. In this sense, it is imperative that every parent does whatever they can to ensure their child stays active in order to avoid the potential physical and mental health issues that typically accompany being overweight. Luckily, staying physically fit doesn’t have to be boring or difficult–especially if you attempt to get your child started with these fitness activities from an early age.
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that only two-and-a-half hours a week of swimming or other aerobic exercises is enough to greatly reduce a person’s risk of many chronic illnesses. This factor alone should be enough to convince you that swimming is a great thing for your child to get into early, and if not, maybe the fact that swimming is hands-down one of the best total body exercises will be enough to get you to finally sign your child up for swimming lessons.
In addition to the physical benefits swimming provides to a child’s body and overall health, there’s also the fact that almost every kid loves spending time in the pool. Of course, it’s also essential that your child knows how to swim for safety reasons, and when you take this into account with all of the other factors, you’ll see why so many children’s health experts say swimming lessons are a must. There are even baby swim lessons if you want to start early.
Children’s yoga classes have been growing in popularity over the past few years, and yoga is definitely another fantastic activity for any child to start early. More than just a form of exercise, yoga can teach your child to challenge themselves and become stronger mentally as well as physically. The fact that yoga is low impact and doesn’t carry with it the risk of serious injury is yet another reason why it’s excellent for young, growing bodies.
Karate, Tae Kwan Do, or Other Martial Arts
Like yoga, martial arts are about much more than simply strengthening the body. The mind is equally important in karate and other martial arts, and you can virtually guarantee your child will also learn much more about self-discipline and respect in most martial arts courses. The color-coded belt system used in many martial arts also offers great incentives for a child to continue pushing themselves and striving to work their hardest in the hopes that they might one day become a black belt.
Unfortunately, many parents are afraid to sign up their child for martial arts because they’re worried about their kid learning how to fight. However, this really isn’t true. In fact, most martial arts always stress that the skills they teach are only ever to be used for self-defense and are otherwise wholly opposed to violence.
As a parent, it is up to you to set a good example for your children to follow. This is as much true when it comes to exercise as everything else, which essentially means that you’ll need to get involved and take an active role in ensuring your child stays physically fit. In this sense, teaching your child how to ride a bike as early as possible can provide great benefits for their health and for you as a family.
Family bike rides used to be something that many people did in the evenings or on the weekends. Unfortunately, it seems that most people are somehow too busy nowadays to take part in this type of family bonding exercise. However, the fact remains that going for a bike ride with the entire family is one of the easiest ways to enjoy some quality time together while also ensuring that everyone in the family stays fit. Cycling is a great form of aerobic exercise that ranks right up there with swimming and jogging, and it also happens to be one of the easiest exercises to do as a family. All of these reasons mean that cycling is a great thing to get your kids into from a young age.
Being overweight or obese has the potential to cause a huge number of serious health problems, and the situation is even more dangerous for children’s growing bodies than it is for adults. Unfortunately, statistics show that approximately one out of every five American children is now obese. However, you can easily prevent your child from becoming another statistic simply through encouragement and ensuring that they get enough exercise. It doesn’t matter how they exercise, all that matters is that they do it.