By Scott Myers
Obesity is the most prevalent nutritional disease of children and adolescents in the U. S.
A child’s potential to develop strength, endurance and physical skill increases at an exponential rate the first two years of life.
The more you encourage your children to be physically active during this period, the stronger and more energetic you can expect them to become; and the more quickly they will develop skills in using their muscles.
Children are motivated by fun. They’ll do just about anything if it’s playful, including exercise.
Children who are physically fit are absent from school less frequently and may perform better academically.
Research shows that children’s muscles develop in many different ways and perform specific roles and movements. Exercise and activity help a child activate all the muscles in his body, which helps him become more coordinated and able.
Physical activity helps develop a healthy heart, lungs, cells and immune system.
Strengthening muscles is also critical. Swinging on monkey bars, climbing, jumping on a trampoline, swinging on a swing, skipping rope, playing hopscotch, participating in gymnastics and dancing are just some of the ways that your child can help strengthen his or her muscles.
When children are 2 to 5 years old, they are developing large-muscle and small-muscle physical abilities and motor skills that are critical for the full success of the child’s later fitness efforts. The skills he learns now provide the groundwork for later, more complex abilities.
Children who develop sound, positive exercise habits will be more likely to continue them as adults.
Activity relieves stress. Exercise manages stress-inducing chemicals. It also releases the chemicals that give us the sensation of well-being. Physical activity improves our moods.
Regular physical activity during childhood and adolescence results in the following benefits:
Increased strength and endurance
Healthier bones and muscles
Reduced anxiety and stress and increased self-esteem
Scott Myers has been the owner and operator of My Gyms in Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes and Santa Monica for over 10 years. He was born, raised and still resides in LA with his wife and two children.