How Much Exercise Should Children Get On A Daily Basis?
In today’s high digitized world, the one worry that most parents and educationists carry around is the lack of exercise in our kids’ lifestyles. With most schools taking to technology, in order to make teaching easier, more accessible and interesting, the kids end up spending a large amount of time with a variety of devices, mostly indoors. Devices like phones, tablets and laptops are used as studying aids as well as for recreation purposes like playing games and social networking. Add to this the fact that a healthy diet is something that has become almost next to impossible due to various factors. So naturally there is a big worry about where our kids will end up with all that lack of physical activity that is so important for the overall growth of a child. The importance of this topic hits home when you realize that none other than World Health Organization (WHO) has a global strategy on diet, physical activity and health for young people put up on their website.
Why is exercise important
It is a universally acknowledged fact that exercise helps in the overall psychological and social development of a child. Typical benefits listed by most health professionals and organizations are as follows:
- It helps in the development of healthy bones, muscles and joints
- You may not believe it, but yes, exercise also helps in the development of a healthy cardiovascular system. In other words, it helps make your heart and lungs stronger!!!
- It helps improve a child’s coordination and movement control.
- It helps to maintain a healthy body weight. After all you got to burn out all those burgers, pizzas and finger chips sometime!
As per the information listed on the WHO website, children aged between 5 and 17 should have at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity in a day. An important point to note is that this need to be in one go and can be on an accumulated basis, which means you can break up the 60 minutes to suit your free time across the day. It is also mentioned that if you can try and up on the 60 minutes, it does provide additional health benefits. Activities could be simple ones like running, jumping, swimming, cycling or playing any form of games like football, baseball etc. Unless the kids have any specific medical conditions that prohibit the physical activity, all kids in this age group should be encouraged to take up one activity or the other. If due to any constraints, we are able to accommodate physical activity for less than 60 minutes, then that is also fine. After all, something is better than nothing for sure.
Exercise is not just a fad
The rapid growth of technology led to a sedentary lifestyle that ended up with our generation not having enough exercise. So, pretty soon it became a fad to exercise!!!! And then it caught on and everyone wanted to get on to the bandwagon. The least we can do now is to make sure that our kids grow up having exercise as part of their daily lifestyle and that will surely help them sustain for a lifetime.