There is the obvious: Activity and exercise helps kids maintain a healthy weight, builds strong and healthy bodies, and promotes overall wellness.
But, did you also know that…
- Being active and exercising improves the quality and amount of sleep kids get?
- Kids who are active also have improved school attendance and do better in school.
- Kids who exercise are less likely to struggle with depression and anxiety.
- Kids who exercise have a stronger positive self-esteem, and have a more positive self-image.
- Being active improves coordination and motor skills and develops interpersonal life skills.
- Parents who are active, have kids who are more likely to be active. What does this mean? It means that our kids will learn to do what we teach them. If we spend most of our time as a family, and as individuals being active, our kids will most likely do the same. This also applies to specific activities. Activities and hobbies that we like, our kids are also likely to enjoy. Think about it, are there any activities you participate in because your parents did? In our home, our kids love to ski and play golf. Why? Because we introduced them to those activities because we like them, and we do them.
- Parents who are less active, have kids who are more likely to be less active. Yep, if as we raise our children, TV and sedentary activities are our primary form of activities together, then we will raise kids who are most likely to be sedentary with their families also. This is true for specific activities, activities that challenge gender issues, and risky activities also. My parents felt that riding motorcycles and jumping out of planes were risky activities. They didn’t say they were bad, but they didn’t encourage us to participate. As a result, I am not active in those activities. My feelings about most activities, come directly from my parents. Yours probably do also.
- It is our job as parents to provide opportunities for our children to be active. Involve them in team sports and in individual activities. Encourage them to be outside, and go out with them. Let them play and play with them. We are the primary socializing agent for our kids.
- Providing opportunities to be active will also provide opportunities for our kids to learn life skills. Everything from problem solving, learning to cooperate, adaptation skills, learning to be a good winner/looser, social bonding skills, and communication (just to name a few) takes place when we are being active and involved with the world around us. We want our children to have these opportunities. What better way to teach them these skills, then by being active together.