When people think of “exercise” they most often think of jogging, walking, weight lifting, swimming, and so on. These are all great examples of physical exercising, but mostly applicable to adults. Kids in grade school shouldn’t be really jogging yet or lifting weights. So what is exercising as it pertains to kids? Kids exercise when they play at the playground, participate in sports, in gym class (either in school or extra curricular), riding bikes, swimming, playing tag, and so on. Pretty much any activity that gets them up and moving around is how children exercise.
5 Benefits of Physical Activity in Children:
- Stronger muscles and bones
- Lower blood pressure as well as the risk of diabetes
- Better weight management
- Stress relief
- Higher self-esteem
Physical activity is extremely important for developing children. Kids who exercise in at least a moderate fashion for between 30 - 60 minutes a day will develop stronger muscles and denser bones, will have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and will be at lower risk from childhood diabetes and heart disease. Besides the medical benefits, children who stay decently active will be less prone to obesity and generally have leaner bodies than non-active children. All of this is important and true, but we believe that the psychological and social benefits are just as important as the physical. For example, a kid that is exhausted from fun exercise is calmer after. This is due to the “mental reset” that comes after physical exertion. This is great for children and serves as a stress-relieving event for them. Believe it or not, kids feel stress, more than you would think they do. Having an activity that can let the steam out is super important for their mental health. Finally, an active kid will have higher self-esteem and more self-confidence than a kid who is less active. This is reinforced for the child when they are participating in an activity that has other children in it. “Social growth is the byproduct of watering your self-esteem”. In other words, kids will grow socially with each other when they are exposed to challenging and positive activities and accomplish them together. The accomplishment of the activity adds to their internal resume, which helps them define themselves.
So what can we do to keep our kids active?
- Have them play outside as much as possible, even when it’s hot.
- Make them earn their “screen time” by physical excursion
- They can participate in a sport and/or an active extracurricular activity
- Go for walks and/or bike rides together
- Go swimming
- Make them do exercises at home (push-ups, sit-ups, squats, so on)
- Get a trampoline for your backyard (they are more exercise than you think)
- Any other activity that gets them moving, sweating, and tired
We believe that attending Hot Ground Gym’s classes at least once a week, combined with a few of the above-mentioned activities, will keep your kid sufficiently active, healthier, and happier. Our experience has shown this to be true.