Children Enjoying Exercise Determines Success Rate

Children Enjoying Exercise Determines Success Rate

Kids enjoying an exercise activity together. Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

Kids enjoying an exercise activity together. Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

It doesn’t take rocket science to know that if you participate in an activity there is more likelihood that you’ll stick with it.

Case in point, the recent TIME article reporting on findings from the American Heart Association. The Heart Association noted that kids will stick with an exercise program most especially if they love what they’re doing.

The American Heart Association polled more than 100 kids who said that they especially stuck with activities when their friends were also participating. At the same time, more than half of the kids participating in the study were not engaging in the physical activity they suggested they would participate in if their friends did it.

What stops kids from following an exercise routine? Fatigue was one of the excuses and not disciplining themselves to become involved was another. Issues with self-esteem also halted children from participating in activities.

It is never too early to teach children to embrace their love of exercise. In Australia, the Active Babies Smart Kids exercise program offers small babies the opportunity to move. The program is online and free and involves stretching and massage for children prior to their toddler years. The babies, experts have said, become more intelligent, while the activities foster healthy physical development.

It’s Chicago Bears center Roberto Garza, who explained to some schoolchildren recently, that he is the living proof of enjoying exercise and learning about good nutrition at an early age.

Good nutrition, he told the engaged kids, feeds the brain and when the brain is healthy, so is their entire body and outlook. He advocated to kids the importance of moving at least 60 minutes a day, combined with eating healthful grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Experts say that one routine that kids will likely stick with in terms of exercise, does not involve organized activity — perhaps the science behind the lack of participation from kids who were surveyed in the TIME article. Kids are more readily to be involved in impromptu events, such as a playdate at the neighborhood park, a dance contest at one of their homes, or a longer than usual walk together to get involved in these activities.

The same experts also advocate that refrigerators should be stocked with healthy items for kids and within reach. These are things that a child can grab and eat with ease, like some cut up salad greens (or one of the pre-washed salad mixes in a bag) or some tuna already removed from the can and mixed up in a bowl — ready to go and be consumed when they need a healthful snack.

As the most recent “Team FNV” campaign has advocated, children can get as excited about items that are great for their overall health — and hold an even greater excitement than they would for sugary items that are unhealthy for them.

 

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