Posted May 30, 2008.
Physical activity has lots of benefits for children. Research has shown that they sleep better, eat better, are healthier, and often behave better when they have participated in physical exercise. In addition, physical activity can help a child to develop a more positive self-concept and reduce stress.
Childhood obesity is a growing concern in America. Young children are spending more hours in front of the TV or computer screen than being active. Research also shows that:
Children like being active when it is made to be fun, enjoyable, and part of a family routine. Parents are role models for children and are in a position to promote positive attitudes toward physical activity. This may be challenging for parents especially with young children who have fewer independent skills than older children, or who need supervision. And sometimes a parent’s own motivation to maintain an active lifestyle when tired and stressed can be a challenge.
If your child likes to spend hours in front of the TV, limit TV viewing. If your child likes to eat while watching TV, provide nutritious and low-fat options such as fresh fruit and whole grains snacks.
Good lifestyle habits are often caught rather than taught. Exercise will provide you with more energy and help manage your stress. It will increase your family’s physical and psychological well-being.
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