So many parents around the world want to know how they can encourage their children to be more active and healthy. Most questions are related to exercise and not food because most of us know the basics of eating healthy.
This article has the sole purpose of answering two of the most common questions that I get in regards to kids fitness, and after that I’ll cover my personal guidelines for helping your kid stay active and healthy.
If we take a look at the reality of the modern day in which we live then we can see that children are extremely unhealthy. The kids of today are fatter and more sedentary than ever before in history.
looking at the facts, we can see that just over 50 years ago over 40% of children would walk or ride a bike to school, whereas today that number has reduced to just 10%.
These are plain facts, and if you take a look around you then you will easily see why. More kids have their heads turned toward video games and iPads than on running around, playing outside.
Children out there that are lazy and fat when they are young will continue on to be lazy and fat adults and the same is true vice versa.
But believe me this is very easily changeable if you as a parent just take action. It really isn’t that hard because it is in a child’s nature to want to run around and do things. They want to get out into the world and explore.
So we have the basic facts covered of what the modern day situation is with our kids… we need to start answering some important questions.
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Will My Child’s Growth Be Stunted By Lifting Weights?
Practically everyone has heard of the so called fact that weight lifting will cause a child’s growth to be stunted.
But believe me you don’t ever need to worry because there is no solid research out there which proves that weight training will stunt a child’s growth.
But the real reality is that the children who do lift light weights actually encourage stronger bones and leaner muscle mass to be developed, and they are generally a lot more healthier, just like an adult who would lift weights.
So if we stop listening to the rumors and look at the cold hard facts, then we can see that we just can’t say yes or no to a question like does weight lifting stunt a child’s growth. Yes, those children and adults alike who lift weights that are way over what they can lift, and do so with with bad technique and form will inevitably cause themselves to get injured but so can literally any other sport out there. But you don’t see children avoid playing sports because of a small chance that they will get hurt.
So if we take a look at the evidence, we can see that if a child lifts weights in a controlled environment, then there is very little chance that it will affect their health in a negative way.
Is It Beneficial For a Child To Follow a Strict Fitness Program?
It depends on the child. The only reason that people in general follow structured fitness programs is because most people just don’t need to be fit and healthy to survive in the modern day world.
Walking or hiking is something that we choose to do because we just don’t have to partake in those activities anymore to get the things we need. Instead we can hop in a car and get whatever we want in a moments notice.
The only reason that most people go to the gym these days is because manual labor is no longer a requirement to stay alive. Exercise is basically done to keep us healthy and fit because most of us are pretty much sedentary during the rest of our days.
The fact is that if your kid is naturally running around and active during the day then there is little need for him to get on a structured fitness program.
Strict exercise programs are only really necessary when a child is extremely lazy and sedentary because of lack of activity in the last few years.
Recommendation To Keep Your Kids Active
The following is exactly what I’d put into action were I to raise up kids again. They are all tips that will help your children to grow up strong, healthy and active people.
– Play Should Be The Focus
Play seriously needs to become the focus of all exercise that is done with your children. Children love to play by nature and it is the best way to encourage them to stay active.
If you encourage your child’s natural inclination to want to run around and explore the world then you will find that they will love being active and healthy and this trend will carry on well into their adulthood.
This is a wonderful start which will encourage them to be excited by more structured exercise programs later on.
But trust me, if you really want your kids to be healthy and more importantly happy you have to focus on play.
– Allow Your Kids To Climb Things
Whatever they can and want to climb safely, you should allow them to do it. Whether it be a tree, pullup bars, ropes… just let them climb it. Try to get a rope installed in your home and let your kids climb on it as much as possible.
– Allow Them To Jump On and Off Things
The facts are there in front of you, kids are always falling down. The best way to reduce the chances of an injury from occurring is to teach your kids how to land safely.
This way your kids will be able to continue to have safe fun, and you will have the peace of mind that they are not going to get injured. All in all your kids will continue to love staying healthy and active.
– Allow Them To Balance On Things
Balance is a skill that is extremely important to develop and will help your child in many ways in the future both in day to day life and in their athletic life. You can easily develop this sense of balance by laying out planks of wood out in your garden for them to use as a balancing beam.
– Allow Them To Swim
Swimming is another skill that will be very useful to your child and its something that you should teach them at a young age.
The reality is that your kids are going to want to do adventurous things that will often times be dangerous. Activities such as skateboarding and jumping on and off things will often times lead to minor injuries.
Whatever activity requires that you run around to stay fit and healthy will inevitably has an aspect of risk to it. But the best thing is to encourage your children, and be there for them for the times that things go wrong.
If you really want to make sure that your kids grow up healthy and strong then you need to encourage them to run around and stay active from a very young age. The more they get out and explore the world, the less likely it is they will get injured and the more likely it is they will be able to stay healthy well into their adulthood.
Believe me getting your kid to be super fit and healthy is as easy as that. Just get out there and implement the rules I’ve set out.