Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.
Exercise for Children
We all know exercise is good for us. It helps to keep obesity at bay. It strengthens our heart. It even helps protect our brain from early aging. What about kids, though? What are the benefits of exercise for them? It turns out, there are many similarities.
Exercise is Good for Children
Let's meet Mikey. Mikey is overweight. He's not very strong, and his doctor keeps mentioning something called diabetes to him and his mom. He's also a bit sad about how he looks and how other kids make fun of him.
One day, Mikey decides to start exercising. He first starts noticing that he's losing weight. Then he begins to feel stronger and faster. He's now one of the best players on the baseball team. He also starts feeling better about himself since he's so much fitter.
Mikey also notices his grades start to improve, and no one makes fun of him anymore for being overweight. He sleeps better at night, and overall feels more relaxed and at ease. He used to be really stressed out about a lot of things but not anymore!
Mikey may not realize it but, his bones are also getting stronger. He is also setting himself up for a healthy future by helping to prevent heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and lots of other health-related problems.
Thus, the benefits of exercise for children are numerous and include:
- Healthy and strong muscles and bones
- A reduction in the risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
- An improved sense of self-worth
- Better grades
Types of Exercises
So what types of exercise did Mikey perform to feel so much better?
He played tag with friends and joined the soccer team to build endurance, which is how long he can exercise for. Better endurance means he has a healthier heart and muscles and is able to exercise for longer. He also used the monkey bars to build up his strength. Mikey also stretched before every game to ensure his flexibility was top-notch.
After school he ran every other day or rode the bike. He even practiced yoga with his mom and learned to dance with one of the kids at school. Those are all great exercises!
How Much Exercise?
Mikey exercised a lot. How much should kids exercise? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kids should get at least 60 minutes of exercise per day. The majority of a child's exercise should be aerobic in nature. This is the kind of exercise that gets their heart rate up. Activities like running, swimming, and brisk walking are aerobic. Brisk walking is considered to be moderate intensity aerobic exercise. Running, however, is considered to be vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise. Children should perform vigorous intensity aerobic exercises for at least 3 days every week.
Muscle and bone strengthening exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups should be included on at least 3 days a week as well. Other ideas for this include playing on the monkey bars or climbing trees with supervision.
Children need to exercise every day for at least 60 minutes in order to reap benefits, such as:
- Increased self-esteem
- Weigh loss
- Heart and muscle health
- Stronger bones
- Better grades
- Less stress
- Better sleep
These exercises include aerobic activities that build endurance, like running, swimming, and riding a bike. They also include muscle and bone strengthening exercises such as playing on jungle gym, climbing a tree, or doing sit-ups. Finally, don't forget about flexibility, which can be improved by doing stretches and yoga.
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