There is no doubt that there is an incredible amount of information out there on raising happy and healthy kids. What's also to be noted is the degree of information and advice available - from gluten-free to sugar-free and grain-free diets to recommended amounts of screen and sleep time.
However, one true fact remains undeniable.
That is the effect of early exercise in young children and the benefit it has in creating healthy, well-adjusted kids that can grow into active adolescents and beyond into adulthood.
The Benefits of Exercise For Young Children
Getting your kids active and outside can make a huge impact on their little minds and bodies. Exercise in kids is also different to what it may be in adults. We tend to think of gyms, running, swimming or organised sports for older kids and adults. But for young kids, it can be a simple as riding a bike, scooting around the block or going for a walk or run to the park or playing tag. It just needs to get them up and about and their little hearts pumping.
It builds their muscles and bones - Exercise is vital for the development of young muscles and bones. It increases their strength and flexibility.
It lifts their levels of happiness and self esteem - exercise causes our bodies to produce endorphins which give us a natural feeling of elation. These chemicals interact with the receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain. What better way to create happy kids than to exercise! It seems almost too good to be true.
It can be a form of bonding - exercising as a family is a great time to bond. Going for a family bike ride of an afternoon after school or a scooter session in your local park brings family members together with positive effects on your bodies and minds.
Works against childhood obesity - exercising gets kids moving and off the couch! Australia has a childhood obesity problem stemming from the increased amount of screen time and decreased physical activity. Replace screen time with some scooter time for a happier and healthier family!
It helps their brain function - regular physical activity has been linked to better concentration and academic results in the classroom.
- It becomes part of their lives - active kids have a greater likelihood of becoming active adults, which in turn will lead to a healthier nation. Being active as an adult is not seen as a chore, but as a way of life.
So next time your kids are glued in front of the TV or ipad, grab them and head for a family bike ride or scooter around town. Their little bodies will thank you for it!