Have you ever heard or were you taught that kids should not start working out until they were in their teens? Well, things have changed!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that “the percentage of children aged 6-11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012.” Now, if that doesn’t alarm you… the CDC also found that “in 2012, more than one third of children & adolescents were overweight or obese.”
We can change these facts! If parents and mentors alike can promote a healthy lifestyle by encouraging our kids to start exercising earlier, we can prevent things like disease, broken bones, & depression.
Here are the 5 reasons your kids should exercise at an early (or earlier) age:
1) Create Habits
According to James Clear, it takes the body 66 days for a behavior to become automatic. By encouraging, requiring, & promoting children to exercise on a regular basis, we are forming early habits. If they start young knowing that they need to exercise, they are more likely to continue the “habit” of exercising or working out into their later years.
2) Build Healthy Bones & Muscles
The bones and muscles in our body are our biggest support system; they keep our bodies going. In order to strengthen our bones and muscles, we must participate in weight-bearing activities.
Activities that are weight-bearing causes new bone tissue to form thus making bones grow stronger and help to build muscle, as well. Activities like walking, playing basketball, or baseball all require your legs to carry your body weight improving your legs’ muscle & bone strength. Be sure to include activities that focus on all body parts to balance out their bodies.
Starting at an early age to strengthen bones & muscles can help prevent injuries in kids later on. When and if they start to participate in sports at a competitive level, their bodies will have developed enough strength to support & progress them in their more difficult workouts.
3) Prevent Disease
Obesity can causes a number of health problems & diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and many forms of cancer. When a child is obese, their likelihood of developing said diseases increases significantly. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle including better nutrition and regular exercise can decrease their chances of facing these life-altering diseases.
4) Promote Good Sleeping Patterns
When people exercise regularly, their sleep patterns improve. According to a study done by The National Sleep Foundation, if an individual gets about 150 minutes of exercise a week, there is a 65% improvement in sleep quality.
Encouraging regular exercise in children will help them to create a regular sleeping pattern helping them as they transition to a busier lifestyle including schools, friends, sports, and other extracurricular activities. Keep in mind, however, that exercise should not be done immediately before bed (exercise releases endorphins which could lead to sleeping problems).
5) Reduce Stress & Increase Happiness
Physical activity helps to improve peoples’ moods. Endorphins are released when we participate in physical activity leaving you feeling happier and more relaxed. Although kids don’t have the amount of stress that most adults have, it is not uncommon to find kids unhappy or battling depression.
We can improve their mental & emotional state simply through exercise. Think of new ways to promote physical activity; try and get involved yourself!
It is up to us to encourage our children to take responsibility for their bodies and change the statistics of obesity. By teaching them young the importance of a good workout, we are helping them live longer, healthier lives.
If you have questions about what types of activities your child should be doing, please contact us today. We would love to have you and your children become part of the BIO Force family – a gym created with kids in mind!