When we think about exercise, we often think of working out in the gym, on a treadmill or lifting weights. But for kids, (and adults!) exercise can mean just playing and being active.
Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit sleep better and are better able to handle both physical and mental challenges.
Everyone can benefit from regular exercise.
Kids who are active will:
- have stronger muscles and bones
- have a leaner body because exercise helps control body fat
- be less likely to become overweight
- decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- possibly lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels
- have a better outlook on life
One of the best ways to get kids (and adults!) to be more active is to limit the amount of time spent in inactive activities, especially watching TV or playing video games.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends these limits on screen time:
- kids under age 2 should watch no TV at all
- kids older than 2 should be restricted to just 1-2 hours a day of quality programming
Exercising can be fun and free:
- play tag
- go for a bike ride
- walking, jogging, running, hiking-call it whatever sounds the most fun to you
- play with the dog, he probably needs to lose weight too!