Importance of Physical Activity for Children

Children Playing / Physical activityEvery piece of complicated equipment, and even some of the simple appliances, that are in your home each came with an instruction manual, or gave you access to one online. With it you are informed about all the things you need to do in order to take good care of it, and you are warned against things that might harm it. Isn’t it a shame that children do not come with an instruction manual?

Sure, there are plenty of parenting books out there and most of them have very useful information. You probably even read a few while you anxiously awaited your first bundle of joy. Now that your child has arrived, there isn’t much time for reading. It’s okay because every child is different so there is certainly no one-size-fits-all answer to addressing all their needs anyhow. Take a breath and stop worrying. You will do just fine!

Children are a bit like flowers or a vegetable garden. If you give them nutrition, attention and some sunshine, they will likely flourish. You can easily tackle the latter two by making sure that you’ve worked in some physical activities with your children on a regular basis. Spending time doing physical things with them allows them to be healthier physically and psychologically, and it provides some pretty wonderful memories besides.

Physically – One of the biggest problems facing American children today is obesity. Fast food, convenience foods, and sitting in front of a video game too much are the biggest contributors to this growing epidemic. Encouraging your children to be active not only reduces the chances of them being overweight as children but also sets the foundation for them to maintain a healthy weight throughout their life. In addition, physical activity builds a strong core that will help your child have a healthy immune system and thus ward off illnesses.

Psychologically – Children do more than grow up physically, they also mature in their thought processes, emotions, and knowledge. Many types of physical activity provide them with the opportunity to problem solve, gain confidence, and even bond with you and their friends. Furthermore, plenty of oxygen is needed to have a healthy brain and physical activity is imperative for that to happen. Children that are not allowed to engage in physical activities can become lethargic, feel lost, and struggle with pent up energy they are not able to release.

The importance of physical activity for children throughout their formative years cannot be overstated, but luckily children seem to be born with a love for romping and playing, so it usually not a huge challenge to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine. The harder part may be talking yourself into joining them. Remember, though, that children learn more by watching than they do by verbal instruction, so get out there and show them how much fun can be had. You will also create a lasting bond with your children, and you just might find yourself having fun and feeling healthier both physically and psychologically too!

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