Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Starting your Child on an Exercise Program

Exercise programs for kids are hugely important. America holds the not so illustrious title of the fattest nation in the world and this moment, our kids are poised to inherit that title. That is something that all parents would not find as a particularly comforting thought.

For those of you not yet convinced that an exercise program for your kids isn’t a priority: The American Obesity Association states the single largest factor in childhood obesity is lack of physical activity and excessive sedentary behavior—that is to say, watching too much TV and playing too many video games.

Why Start My Kid on an Exercise Program?

Outside of the social pariah status of the obese in our society, there are significant, easily avoidable health risks involved with obesity. The AOA lists common health conditions associated with children who are obese because of lack of regular exercise. These conditions include asthma, Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, orthopedic problems, and most frightening, sleep apnea—a condition in which breathing ceases during sleeping. Obviously not permanently, but the effects are loss of focus and a significant increase in the loss of logical thought.

An exercise program for your children is so important because of the large amount of health problems associated with those are inactive—namely obesity. Since 1974, the number of children classified as obese under the age of 11 has increased more than four times; from roughly 4 per cent to over 16 per cent in 2000 with the single largest cause of obesity is lack of exercise.

To help your child avoid these health risks, not to mention the psychological risks of being outcast because of weight, you need to set them up on a regular exercise program. Children’s exercise programs are not hard to do—just get them outside or keep them inside, but focus on them getting active.

It’s important to realize than a children’s exercise program does not necessarily mean pumping iron—rather it has more to do with cardiovascular activities that burn lots of energy. Examples of great cardiovascular activities are running, swimming, rowing, canoeing, rock climbing—the list goes on. It also doesn’t need to be simply running—it can be a game of tag, catch, playing soccer outdoors; anything that gets your kids heart beating and gets them sweating a bit.

Research has also shown that obese children tend to be more depressed than other children who are fit. In addition, physical activities, especially cardiovascular activities can actually make you feel great. The so called “runner’s high” is caused when someone who is engaged a high amount of cardiovascular activity gets a massive dump of dopamine into the brain—a chemical that instills a euphoric state in the person doing the activity, a natural high.

It would seem logical that getting your child on an exercise program should be a paramount as a parent to ensure the health and happiness of your child. But along with the exercise goes a good diet, healthy relationships, staying active, and of course, laughing a lot. All of these things contribute to your child’s life, and an exercise program for your child is, in reality, just a piece of the puzzle.
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At 7:07 AM, Blogger Cindy said...

I'm trying to get my kids to work out and its been pretty hard. They don't like sports and get bored easily with exercise. The best tool I've found to get them up and moving is music, and I've found lots of great programs at http://www.HighEnergyFitness.com

Music is the best motivator for working out. I've been using these audio programs myself and haven ever had more fun on a treadmill! Each program is only 99 cents, so I listen to great new music every day and have saved lots of money by firing my trainer. Now my kids are working out every day and we're having fun together.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Mary said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Rhinoplasty Los Angeles said...

This would be a very great idea...as you spoke in the above article whether we walk to school..no most of us have stopped walking at all...so exercising free hand specially should be a great good idea.

At 4:16 PM, Blogger Tiziana said...


My husband made a free exercise game for the iPhone. Our kids love it. The name of the game is FitQuest and the name of the company is JogHop.

There is a video that a friend made of his 3 kids playing. Pretty funny http://fb.me/JCKiEtnW

This is like a portable Wii on the iPhone. Hope this helps other moms.


At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Trampoline said...

You don't need to consciously make your kids exercise, some things they love doing will be exercise without knowing it. You could get a trampoline for the garden, although it doesn't look like much it improves balance, co-ordination,bone density, rhythm and self confidence and most importantly it is cardiovascular activity.

At 3:31 AM, Blogger Walter said...

It really depends on the daily activities of your child if he needs to have an exercise program. If your child often plays a lot of physical activities at school and at home, then he may not have to exercise anymore. But if most of the time your child plays only indoor games, then maybe he needs to sweat it off and have some physical activities for himself. Me and my wife regularly go to Glendale fitness center to have some exercise. And because my kids are not yet allowed to go to a regular gym, we just join them at Glendale parks and recreation center and we jog or do some outdoor sports as well.

At 4:37 AM, Anonymous Kamagra said...

Great tips on healthy life, Thank you for sharing a great issue on Fitness,
Julia alrn

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Weknow Fit said...

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