Exercise For Children

 

Family Exercise

There are a number of physical as well as psychological benefits of regular exercise for adults as well as children. It has been observed that children with poor physical activity habits do not start exercising even when they turn adults. In simple terms, childhood habits tend to continue and have a big impact on the future life of children.

Many children today tend to spend a lot of time in front of computers or television instead of playing outdoors. This has lead to onset of obesity and various related diseases in children.

In fact, it is estimated that one in three children in US is overweight. Obesity is also quickly becoming a global problem as children spend more time on phones, tablets, TV and computers instead of spending some time outdoors. Also, children these days eat a lot of fat and salt laden processed food.

Therefore, it is important for parents and other adults in the family to understand the importance of exercise for children and ensure that they exercise on a regular basis. Here are some of the other benefits of regular physical activity for children.

Importance of Exercise for Children

It Helps in Increasing Focus

One of the biggest benefits of regular exercise for children is that it helps in increasing learning and focus. A research study that observed the habits of high school students found that students who regularly participated in a gym class at the beginning of the day were able to solve problems more effectively as compared to students who did not exercise.

It Enhances Brain Function

Researchers have found that regular exercise helps in increasing the neurons and strengthening the interconnections between them. Regular exercise also helps them in protecting brain from damage. Tests on animals have illustrated that regular exercise leads to the release of beneficial proteins called neurotrophic factors by the nerve cells.

These proteins help in triggering release of various other chemicals that help in learning and overall neural health. Regular exercise also leads to increased blood flow to the brain and improves the development of neurons.

Lower Cardiovascular Risk in Adulthood

A review of various research studies on physically active schoolchildren has reported that regular physical activity during childhood is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases in youth as well as adulthood.

Lower Levels of Stress

It won’t be wrong to say that children today are facing a lot of stress due to increased competition and pressure to perform academically. Regular physical activity helps in increasing the level of endorphins and norepinephrine that lead to stress reduction and mood improvement.

It Improves Appetite

It has been seen that children who are physically inactive also have poor eating habits. They tend to eat more snacks and processed food that makes them overweight. Regular exercise helps in improving the appetite in children which means that children demand nourishment that comes from a well balanced diet.

It also helps in improving their digestive health and metabolism. Metabolism and digestive health play an important role in the growing age.

It Prevents Obesity

One of the biggest causes of obesity is lack of physical activity. Regular exercise helps in keeping obesity at bay.

It Strengthens Muscles

It increases blood circulation that allows all the organs in the body to become more efficient which mean fitter body. It also helps in strengthening muscles and bones in the body.

Recommended Exercises for Children

Any kind of games that include physical activity are great for kids. Parents may take their children to the park and let them play various games such as climbing trees, swings and similar other games. It is important to expose children to as many different activities as possible.

Take them out for a walk or get them to participate with the parent’s workout activities.  I always have my children join me when I do my workouts.  I love the exercise program from the following website:  Quick Ab Workout, abdominal exercises for women.

However, experts also caution parents against letting young children participate in various organized sports as competition may take away the creativity and fun from the game. However, if an interest is expressed by the child for an organized physical activity, parents should allow participation at a lower level. The goal is to keep the activity fun for children.

Overall, everyone understands the importance of exercise but it is important for parents to realize the importance of exercise for children. Along with regular exercise, children should also eat a healthy diet and spend more time outdoors than indoors to remain healthy.

Healthy Children

Healthy ChildrenWith childhood obesity rates at staggering levels, the importance of healthy children has never been more apparent. More so, the importance of eating healthy and teaching your kids to live a healthy lifestyle. It’s never too early or too late to start practicing healthy life choices. Just as there are guidelines for healthy living in adults, there are also some simple guidelines for healthy living with children.

As a parent, the importance of healthy children is probably pretty obvious. How to actually raise healthy children might not be so obvious. Do they have the same nutritional demands? How much exercise is an adequate amount? Here are a few tips to help hammer home the importance of healthy children and the lifestyle choices it takes to get them there.

Children Have Nutritional Demands

The nutritional demand of children is similar in theory to that of adults, but with different values and requirements. This is because all human bodies need nutrients, vitamins, and carbohydrates to function and survive. They are what keep the body moving, healthy, and growing at that age. What kids don’t need is the amount quantity of nutrients, which of course means not the same serving sizes.

Calorie and other nutrient guidelines are constantly changing and growing as the child themselves grow. They only require between 1,000 and 1,400 calories during their second and third years. From ages 4 to 8 the calorie requirements rise to between 1,200 and 2,000. The exact requirements will depend on their sex, size, and daily activity level. Larger boys who are very active will require the most amount of calories.

Control The Flow Of Food

Remember that not all sources of nutrients are created equal. You now understand that your child has necessary nutritional demands, but the next step is to find high quality sources of those nutrients. As the adult, you control the supply of food in the home so it’s up to you to ensure they are only eating quality sources of proteins, calories, and carbohydrates. For example, soda has tons of calories, but it’s a very poor choice any time of the day.

The sooner you start your child on a healthy diet, the more at ease with it they will be. If they eat pizza and cookies every day until they are 9 and then you decide to start a healthy diet it will be much more difficult. That’s not to say you shouldn’t start now if you haven’t started yet, but just remember that the longer you wait the harder it will be. Start bringing healthy foods into the home as soon as possible.

Finding high-quality and healthy sources of nutrients is not difficult. It just means swapping out snack cakes for fruits and processed foods for lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Beans, poultry, nuts, and seafood and are all the best sources of protein. Green vegetables are always a good choice. Almost all fresh fruits are exceptionally healthy. All of these foods are also sources of calories.

Physical Activity for Kids

Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about the foods you eat. Raising a healthy child means imposing a healthy diet as well as regular physical activity. Growing boys and girls need exercise to keep the bodies limber, pain-free, avoid obesity, and to lower the risk of developing serious diseases later in life, such as artery diseases or diabetes.

A lack of physical activity is one of the leading risk factors associated with the above conditions. It can also increase the risk for high blood pressure, strokes, and low HDL. HDL is the “good” cholesterol in the body that is actually needed.

Luckily, there are some simple guidelines regulating physical activities. Growing children are recommended to partake in at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity every day of the week. They may get some of this at school, but that’s not always the case.

From Kids to Adults

Healthy kids tend to grow up to become healthy adults. The same could be said for unhealthy or inactive children. By starting healthy habits like proper dieting and daily exercise, they are more likely to maintain these habits as they grow older and leave home. This means you’re preparing them for a healthy lifestyle that will continue to reward them as they age.

Childhood Obesity

Childhood ObesityChildhood obesity is becoming a big problem all over the world. In simple terms, obesity in children can be defined as excessive amounts of body fat. While genetic factors and hormonal imbalance may lead to weight gain in children, the most common causes are poor eating habits and lack of physical activity.

Childhood obesity needs to be taken seriously as children are increasingly developing diseases that once affected only adults. Children are increasingly developing diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure that also lead to poor self-esteem as well as depression.

It is important to curb the obesity in childhood to ensure that it does not affect the child’s health later in life. Here are some important things about childhood obesity causes and prevention.

Diagnosis

Various indicators such as weight, growth charts, height should be used to determine the appropriate weight for children below two years of age. However, other factors such as body mass index, waist circumference, waist to hip ratio and waist to height ratio should be used for measuring obesity in older children.

Some of the symptoms of obesity in children include chronic hunger, poor physical coordination, fatigue and excessive sweating among others.

Childhood Obesity Causes and Prevention

Causes

As mentioned in the beginning, hormonal or genetic causes may lead to childhood obesity but most of the cases of excess weight are due to lack of physical activity and overrating. It is true that children need extra calories for growth and development but these should be proportionate to their growth. Here are some of the common causes of childhood obesity.

Unhealthy Diet

Regular consumption of unhealthy diet such as fast food, soda, chips, candy, vending machine snacks and other high calorie foods lead to weight gain. Another major culprit is snacking. Many research studies have reported that children are snacking on sugar and salt filled snacks much more than ever.

Lack of Physical Activity

Another big reason for development of obesity is lack of regular physical activity. These days, children tend to spend their time indoors watching TV or playing video games or using computers. It has been observed that kids who develop poor exercise habits in childhood tend to be physically inactive later in life.

Genetics

Children who are born into a family of overweight people are more likely to become overweight due to genes. This is especially true in case family habits include low level of physical activity and consumption of high calorie food.

Environment

Environment also plays an important role in the eating habits of kids. For instance, if a child is greeted by candy bars, bags of chips or microwave pizza when they open kitchen cabinets or refrigerator, it is likely that they are going to eat that food. This environment can be easily changed by keeping tasty fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods.

Social Economic Factors

It has also been observed that children in low-income families develop childhood obesity as their parents do not have the resources and time to give them healthy foods. Fast food is not only more readily available but is also cheaper in low-income communities.In such communities, parents also do not encourage regular physical activity and playing outdoors is usually not safe.

Lack of Sleep

Some research studies have reported that kids who sleep less than 13 hours a day at the age of two are likely to become obese at the age of seven. Lack of sleep leads to body fatigue that disturbs the balance of hormones responsible for regulating appetite.

Prevention

Thankfully, preventing childhood obesity is not that difficult if parents understand its importance and harmful effects in the future life of their children.

It is important to not single out children suffering from obesity. Also, dieting does not work for children and may even have adverse effects. The best way to prevent obesity is to change the eating and physical activity habits of the entire family. Keep in mind that children learn from their parents.

It is important to teach children about the importance of eating right foods. Parents should also involve them in preparation of meals and tell them about the difference between bad and good sugars. Here are some more tips to prevent obesity in children.

  • Children should be offered the right food for their age group that should include vegetables, grains, lean meats, nuts, beans as well as fruits.
  • They should be given water, fruit juice and milk instead of sweetened beverages.
  • They should be encouraged to eat fresh and home-made food.
  • Children should indulge in various outdoor activities such as biking, running and swimming for 30 to 60 min on a daily basis.
  • Children should not be forced to eat when their stomach is full.
  • The daily screen play time of children should be limited to around 1.5 hours for children below 10 years of age.

These are some of the factors concerning childhood obesity causes and prevention. Experts recommend sensitizing children and making changes to the eating and physical activity habits of the whole family to prevent obesity in childhood.

Childhood Diabetes

Diabetes MellitusDiabetes is a disorder in which body is unable to use glucose due to lack of insulin or inability to use the insulin in the body. The food that you eat is broken down by the body to produce glucose which is used as a major source of energy by the body.

This glucose is processed by the cells in the body with the help of a hormone known as insulin. However, people suffering from diabetes are unable to use the glucose. Excess glucose in the blood leads to high level of blood sugar that may have some serious consequences for your health.

Diabetes is divided into two types, namely type I and type II diabetes.

In the case of type I diabetes, the immune system in the body attacks the pancreas and kills the cells producing insulin. In the case of type II diabetes, the insulin is still produced in pancreas but cells in the body are unable to use it properly.

However, the end result is same in both the cases. As body is unable to use the glucose, it leads to rise in blood sugar levels. The article below discusses various things related to childhood diabetes causes and prevention.

Type I Diabetes

Causes

As far as the causes of type I diabetes is concerned, medical science has unable to find the exact cause so far. However, scientists agree that the genes play a major role in development of type I diabetes. Medical professionals have also observed that certain things like a virus may also force the immune system to go after the pancreas and lead to destruction of insulin producing cells.

Common symptoms of type I diabetes include increased hunger, frequent urination, blurred vision, heavy breathing, frequent skin infections, vomiting, nausea, feeling thirsty and weight loss among others.

Prevention

As far as prevention is concerned, there is no way to prevent it as exact cause is still unknown. Children suffering from type I diabetes need insulin and blood sugar monitoring on a lifelong basis.

In addition to regular insulin treatment, certain other things such as healthy eating habits and regular physical acuity help a lot.

It is important to create a meal plan for the child with the help of a registered dietitian that takes into account the food preferences, lifestyle and health goals of your child.

Regular physical activity helps in lowering the level of blood sugar. However, it is important that the blood sugar levels are measured at regular intervals to compensate for the increased physical activity.

Type II Diabetes

Causes

Type II diabetes usually affects children who have a family history of diabetes or are overweight or have insulin resistance. Medical professionals have observed that the biggest cause of type II diabetes in children is being overweight.

It has been observed that almost one third of children in US are overweight. In fact, Type II diabetes was almost unknown in children but obesity has led to a huge increase in the number of kids suffering from diabetes. The chances of a child getting diabetes go up once he or she gains too much weight. Girls are more likely to get diabetes as compare to boys.

Common causes of obesity include lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating habits, overweight family members and in rare cases, some medical condition.

Common symptoms of this type of diabetes include blurred vision, slow healing of cuts, numbness in hands or feet, itchy skin, dry mouth, frequent urination and unexplained weight loss among others.

Prevention

Thankfully, it is possible to prevent type II diabetes as doctors are aware of the causes. All adults in the life of a child such as teachers, parents and educators play an important role in preventing onset of type II diabetes.

As mentioned above, one of the most common causes of this type of diabetes is obesity. One of the best ways to get rid of obesity is to practice healthy eating habits.

Children should be taught healthy eating habits. They should be provided a well balanced diet. It has been observed that limiting the intake of refined carbs and sugar helps a lot in preventing obesity. In simple terms, it will help in preventing diabetes.

Regular exercise is also extremely important. Many research studies have reported that regular exercise has a significant impact on insulin resistance. The parent should limit the television time of their kids and encourage them to go play outside.

Eating and exercise habits of parents play an important role as children always learn from their parents. Therefore, it is important for you to be active with your child and encourage healthy eating habits by following them yourself.

While there is no way to prevent or cure type I diabetes, the type II diabetes can be easily prevented and managed. In fact, there have been many cases of kids successfully becoming diabetes free by changing their eating habits and exercising on a regular basis. Parents can prevent type II diabetes by becoming a role model for their kids.