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Appropriate exercise for school aged kids

The increase in obesity pandemic among children aged 6-18 has reached to a whopping 16 percent in the United States. Apart from the unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and activity is one of the major reasons for weight gain and health problems. Pediatricians recommend parents to keep their child physically active to ensure they are in good health.

It is a universal fact that exercising helps you to keep weight under control. It is also crucially important to build strength, confidence and coordination in a school going child. Children who are physically more active as compared to those who sit and watch TV for long hours are more focused and willing to learn. School-aged kids should frequently take part in games and activities that are the most suitable for their age and interests. Kids usually love doing activities and exercises as long as it’s fun and keeps them engaged.

For school going kids, exercise does not refer to working out in the gym or running on a treadmill, but it’s about having a 30-minute gym class at school or riding a bike and even running during recess. Exercise can be divided into three parts for school going kids-

  • Aerobics
  • Strength
  • Flexibility

Aerobics– Also known as endurance exercises, these are activities that engage the large muscles of your body, the heart and lungs. Endurance exercises can cause the heart rate to increase and accelerate breathing hence strengthening heart and lungs. Endurance activities for school-aged children are skating, football, basketball, dancing, running, cycling, mountain climbing and martial arts etc.

Strength- Muscle strength allows kids to perform daily activities and chores without pressurizing their joints and muscles. Exercises that can assist kids in developing good posture, strong muscles and bones are raking leaves, carrying or lifting things, monkey bars, playground games, climbing ladders, skipping ropes, sit-ups and push-ups.

Flexibility- Exercises that require a child to bend and stretch increases the flexibility levels of the body. Flexibility reduces the chances of muscle injury, wrenching or twisting of ligaments and improves physical performance. Gymnastics, Yoga and stretching routines should be part of a child’s lifestyle.

Always remember to monitor your child’s growth, in case anything makes you feel worried, do not hesitate to contact a Pediatrix doctor for consultation and a general health checkup.

Posted in Blog on August 5th, 2016