Children and Physical Activity

According to the British Heart Foundation, nearly a third of our children are obese or overweight.

In an era when technology is the source of most young people’s pastimes, it has never been more important to encourage children to participate in physical activity.

Movement has countless benefits for the body; aside from contributing to a healthy weight, it helps to develop key motor and cognitive skills, improves the muscular and skeletal structure, contributes to cardiovascular health and aids the progress of social skills. It can even help with regulating sleep and other bodily processes such as digestion.

For infants not yet walking, physical activity may consist of crawling, rolling or playing. Once infants are able to walk they should spend as little time as possible being sedentary, this includes: being in a car seat or being sat on the sofa for long stretches of time. Instead they should be encouraged to take up hobbies and activities that allow them to exert themselves. This can include running, skipping, swimming, climbing, jumping on a trampoline or dancing, to name a few.

Try to make exercise a key part of your child’s daily routine by walking wherever possible or allocating a time in the day to share a physical activity. Make sure that this period is free from distractions like television or mobile devices. Above all, ensure your activities together are fun so that your child associates fitness with something enjoyable to help keep them healthy and happy well into their adult years.