Specialists affirm that children should have a routine of physical activity at least one hour a day, to guarantee a healthy life.
We know that exercising improves and maintains a person’s physical fitness, health, and well-being. Martha Ruano, a certified instructor at Sport City, says that at each stage of life, exercise provides important health benefits.
From an early age it is recommended that children relate to physical activity that without seeming to be formal. That is, through the game, but that is part of their daily lives, since at this age habits are acquired.
It can be thought that a child does not need exercise as such, because by their nature they are active and play and move with all that energy that characterizes them; However, if the habit is not obtained, it will be very difficult for the exercise to be formally performed in adulthood.
Physical exercise in minors is important for their health, as well as for their development and growth. According to the MedlinePlus portal, a service of the US National Library of Medicine, children should have a routine of physical activity for at least one hour a day, to ensure a healthy life. It is recommended activities in which they feel comfortable.
Exercising in childhood provides many benefits, including the following: improves psychomotor coordination; allows the development of skills, reflexes and reactions; favors the learning of discipline and respect; favors increased concentration and self-control; reinforces values (tolerance, responsibility, perseverance); contributes to socialization and overcoming shyness; encourages collaboration over individualism; favors the growth of bones and muscles; promotes the creation and regulation of habits; allows the correction of possible physical defects.
A report by the World Health Organization shows that physical activity generally has fundamental benefits for the health of children and young people. This conclusion is based on the results of several studies, which have observed that increased physical activity was associated with more favorable health parameters, and of experimental studies that have shown an association between physical activity interventions and improvement of physical activity. health indicators. Some of the documented benefits are: improved physical fitness (both in cardiorespiratory functions and muscle strength), reduction in body fat, a favorable risk profile for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, greater bone health, and fewer symptoms. of depression.
WHO states that for children ages 6 to 10, physical activity consists of games, sports, travel, recreational activities, physical education, or scheduled exercises, in the context of family, school, or community activities. In order to improve muscle function, bone health and increase the body’s defenses, the WHO recommends that:
• Daily physical activity should be, for the most part, aerobic. It would be advisable to incorporate, at least three times a week, vigorous activities that strengthen, in particular, the muscles and bones.
• Physical activity for more than 60 minutes a day will have an even greater health benefit.
A study about overweight and obesity in children and young people carried out by the Ministry of Health of Argentina, reveals that research based on interventions aimed at increasing physical exercise and reducing sedentary lifestyle in school-age children showed that:
• They could help to keep children at a healthy weight, as they improve the body mass index (decreasing it) in children.
• The behavior change approach must involve not only the child and the family, but also the educational community and the community in general.
The same study shows that habits are acquired more easily in the first years of life and parents who have young children should receive counseling and early education to carry out the mission of generating healthy behaviors in the family with responsibility.
For all the above, it is important that parents encourage their children to spend less time in front of the television, computer or video games and involve them in the practice of exercise, in activities such as running, cycling, swimming or some sport such as football. Showing interest in the activities that children practice and motivating them a lot is vitally important for them to grow up physically and emotionally healthy.