Make Fitness Fun (page 2)
How does exercise benefit your child and your family?
• Healthy Weight
Physical activity is necessary to help your child keep or get to a healthy weight. Children today are less active than they were just a few years ago because of the amount of time spent watching TV, on computers, and taking part less in daily PE classes in school.
• Strong Bones
Exercise can strengthen your child's bones. Building strong bones in childhood helps to keep bone health later in life.
• Develop Lifelong Habits
Children who enjoy exercise may develop a lifelong, healthy habit of being physically active. If they stay active as adults, they will enjoy better health and may live longer than their less active peers. Exercise can decrease the risk of obesity, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease in adults.
How can I motivate my child to exercise?
The key word to encourage kids to be active is "fun". Children participate in exercise for enjoyment. Take small steps. Encourage your child to swim, bike, or play ball with friends. Encourage your child to participate in organized sports, PE classes, or other activities that help to keep him physically active.
How can I be a role model for my child?
Get the whole family involved in games, bicycling, or other active play. If you are involved, your child is more likely to get involved. Participate in physical activities together; this may also increase the amount of quality time you spend with your child.
Does a healthy diet help keep my child fit? Food provides your child with the energy and nutrients he needs to grow and the energy he needs for active play. Active children also need to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise.
What should my goal be for my child?
It is recommended that children, adolescents and adults participate in 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity on most (if not all) days of the week.
Examples of Fun Activities For Children
Volleyball or Water volleyball
Hide-and-seek or Tag Bicycling
Playing on playground
Wheeling self in wheelchair
Walking up stairs
Basketball or shooting baskets
Raking leaves or Gardening
Reprinted with the permission of the Department of Health and Human Services.
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