In this digital age, it’s tempting to just let your children stay inside and play video games. It’s easy, they’re ‘safe’ and sometimes it’s just what they want to do. However, teaching your children to be inactive can have dire consequences in the long run. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare:
- 1 in 4 Australian children, aged 2-17, were overweight or obese in 2014-2015.
- 80% of children and young people aged 5-17 did not meet physical activity recommendations.
- 64% of children aged 5-8 failed to meet the physical activity recommendations.
- Heart strength:Workouts that increase your child’s heart rate leads to increased cardiovascular fitness. This strengthens the heart and lung muscles for healthy development, while simultaneously reducing the chance of heart disease and cancer in the future.
- Strong bones:Working out increases the bone density among children, which encourages the healthy growth of bones, muscles, and ligaments. Strong bones and ligaments not only help children reach their height potential, but also helps to develop a good posture and reduce risk of bone breakage later on in life.
- Improved coordination and balance: Teaching children new skills to workout, whether that be a sport, weight training, or an aerobics class, helps them to develop better coordination and balance. This will be a huge benefit when they start cooking, riding a bike or playing more competitive sports in the future.
- Greater ability to relax: The exertion of energy helps children to experience a calming effect on their entire body, which can help them to avoid chronic muscular tension (head/back aches), and improve their sleep quality!
- Mental health benefits: Exercise is a fighting tool in combating invasive mental health issues such as low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. It teaches children how to be self-confident and resilient at a young age. In addition, exercise helps improve concentration and memory, which gives them a step up in their studies and brain development. It also helps reduce stress and raises their serotonin levels, helping them to lead happy and healthy lives.
- Improved social skills/ personal skills: Another added benefit of social exercise (such as workout classes or team workouts), is that it teaches children the social and personal skills that are essential to leading a fulfilling life. The benefits of learning cooperation and teamwork goes far beyond the gym or field, as these skills carry with them into their schooling, friendship and their family lives.