Submitted by: Christine Dunbar
1 out of 3 children are overweight in the United States. There are many reasons for this growing problem. The below, in no particular order, are the top 10 reasons kids need exercise.
1. We Live in an Electronic World
Kids are playing computer games and video games instead of playing outside. Television, iPods and MP3s have helped replace tag, ball games and bike riding.
2. Fast Food and Convenience Foods
Although designed to be helpful, which they are, these types of foods are high in fat and calories. They are also filled with additives and preservatives, some of which have been linked to weight gain.
3. Recess is a Thing of the Past
It used to be that kids got exercise during recess. It was a time of tag, kickball and seeing who could go higher on the swing. Many schools today, however, have gotten rid of recess preferring instead slightly shorter days, time for questions or having homeroom.
4. P.E. is Not Always Physical
Many high schools split P.E. up into 2 segments; physical and bookwork. They start off with a number of weeks of physical exercise and then a number of weeks with bookwork on how to live a healthy lifestyle. While learning about the bad effects of smoking, drinking and drug use are important, teens get no exercise during this portion.
5. After School Activities Are Not Always Active
Children who stay for after school care could be doing sports, playground play and other physical things. What they often do, however, are crafts. Consider an after school sport, or an activity such as dance, for a child at least once a week instead.
6. Kids Who Are Encouraged to Exercise Will Continue to Do So
Studies have proven that children who grow up exercising will continue to exercise when they are adults. These are also the ones who will encourage their own children to exercise.
7. Exercise Gives Kids Greater Self-Esteem
It is important to help our kids achieve a good self-esteem because low self-esteem can lead to eating disorders, depression, drug and alcohol use and other problems. Exercise helps with this because as children get fit they will look and feel better.
8. Better Academic Performance
Kids who exercise have better grades. Remember those endorphins? Exercise gives us energy. Kids who do not exercise, on the other hand, tend to be more tired and ill more often.
9. Prevent Future Health Problems
By exercising today, children can help prevent, or delay, chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
10. Helps with People Skills
Things like dance, martial arts and team sports get children physical as well as interacting with each other. This added bonus is especially important in a day when many kids interact more with machines than with other people.
By implementing some changes on our lifestyles we will help our children be fit and healthy. Things like adding exercise, serving smart snacks and making smart meal choices will help our children greatly. They will be grateful for the head start weve given them in the future.
About the Author: Christine enjoys writing about a variety of topics. For more information about a
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