Children engaging in fitness activities develop strength, flexibility, and endurance. However, studies show that exercise is also just as important for your brain health. Children engaging in regular aerobic exercise test higher on IQ tests, get better grades, and have increased concentration and better memory. It can also protect against cognitive decline in later life. Children also tend to have higher self esteem, improved moods with less mood swings, and better social skills.
In addition, children who exercise have improved sleep patterns and develop healthy habits that can last well into adulthood.
Not only will exercise benefit your kids, but so will fresh air and sunshine. Children need the Vitamin D that comes from spending time in natural sunlight. In addition, studies have shown that children who play outside have less of a need for medications to treat hyperactivity or depression.
The benefits of regular exercise continue into adult hood. It is especially important as we grow older, because it helps to fight off the effects of aging. Benefits are similar to those in children including strengthening the muscles, heart, lungs, and bones. Exercise helps improve memory, mood, energy levels, and self-esteem. Exercise has also been shown to help the fight against cancer and obesity in adults.
Getting Fit as a Family!
Exercise can become a family activity! Document the types of activities you all enjoy and can do together. Some ideas for family exercise include:
- Go for family walks. Make it fun by turning your walk into a scavenger hunt!
- Bike rides and roller skating are fun!
- Engage in a team sport like basketball or soccer.
- Have a list of rainy day activities such as family dance night.
Make Fitness a Family Priority!
It is important to make exercise a priority in your household. Make sure you establish rules that include limits on television, computer, and internet usage. Use a calendar or physical reminder such as a chart/activity log to keep track of your family’s endeavors. Do not forget to have fun along the way and make memories together that will last a lifetime!