Fitness For Children

Fitness For Children

Fitness For Children
With childhood obesity rates at an all time high, fitness for children is extremely important. There are many ways to make fitness fun for children – walking, dancing or just throwing the ball around outside. And any time that the whole family is included is an extra bonus.

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  • 2 Answers
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    Encourage your child to be as active as possible and involved in as many different types of activity as possible. Playing on the playground, running around jumping, climbing, playing sports, dance all these types of exercise will help the child grow and develop physically and improve development of their motor skills. As your child gets to older ages, encourage them to play a wide variety of sports, and engage on weight training, aerobic training, and core and flexibility training. The more variety of exercise your child engages in the better their overall development and health. 
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  • 5 Answers
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    It's important to establish a year-round plan to ensure your children get plenty of physical activity and establish habits for lifelong good health. Try the following:
    1. Get off the sofa and away from the computer! Active parents have children who are five to six times more physically active than children of couch potatoes.
    2. Plan all-season family activities. Walk for 45 minutes after dinner, take children to a swim club twice a week, go on weekend hikes, or do tasks around the yard.
    3. Make exercise a community effort. Call teachers, neighbors and parents of your children's friends. Plan activities together and lobby your school board. Get daily physical education back into your school!
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  • 1 Answer
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    According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, weight training is safe and effective for any child that has reached an age where he/she can participate in any type of sport. Each child is individual and should be able to accept directions and respond to instructions about proper techniques. This typically is around age 7 or 8, although each child should be considered individually. Research has shown that prepubescent children can benefit from weight training and participate safely as long as proper instruction and supervision is provided. Most injuries stem from activities that are improperly instructed or unsupervised. There is no greater risk of injury from appropriate weight training than that from participation in other sports or activities. In fact, learning proper techniques at a young age may prevent injuries in the future. Individuals intending to instruct children need to get proper training in progressing youth in a safe, age appropriate weight training program. Weight training is not only beneficial for children who are active in sports. Benefits not only include increased strength, improved muscle recruitment patterns and neuromuscular activation, but also provide overall health benefits such as decreased obesity and stimulating bone growth and bone density.

    (This answer provided for NATA by Lana M. Loken, EdD, ATC.)

  • 2 Answers
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    You should encourage your child to exercise because it is important for children to exercise and stay active in order for them to maintain a healthy weight. Childhood obesity is becoming more and more of a concern. Children who are not at a healthy weight, defined as a body mass index, or BMI, of under the 85th percentile for age, are at increased risk for health complications as an adult. Some of the health complications associated with obesity include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease.
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  • 2 Answers
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    Changing unhealthy habits can make a difference. A research study found that children who ate fruits and vegetables once a day had healthier arteries as young adults than children who consumed fruits and vegetables less than twice a month. The lower consumption was linked to stiffening arteries, a red flag for future heart problems.

    Parents concerned about their children’s heart health should set a good example by serving whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Regular exercise that includes aerobic activities such as running, cycling or swimming is also good for the heart.
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  • 1 Answer
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    Appropriate weight gain for children will varies widely. Children will, by nature, gain weight as they grow. A healthy, well-rounded diet with a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats will supply the child with nutrition need to grow and support their participation in athletics. A child at an otherwise healthy weight should not lose weight during athletic participation. Children who are overweight or obese will most likely lose weight due to increased activity, however this weight loss should be supervised by a physician. If you have questions about your child's weight or preparing a balanced diet for them, consult your physician. Your physician can also connect you with a Registered Dietician who can address any needs for weight gain or loss.
    (This answer provided for NATA by Lee M. Averill, ATC, CSCS.)
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    Not being a physician, I would first steer you to see your local physician.  However, with RSD, sometimes the prescription of choice is exercise.  Again, see you primary physician or physical therapist before starting any exercises but if they recommend it then keep your daughter as active as possible. 

  • 1 Answer
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    Before any form of exercise, make sure your child is of the appropriate age to start exercise.  As a child the best form of exercise is to be active.  No need to focus on any specific types of exercise.  If they enjoy sports then have them play sports.  If they enjoy running around then keep them running around.  If they enjoy going for nature walks then buy some nature books and find some trails.  Your goal should be to keep your child active and away from the TV as much as possible.

    As for the type of training that is best.  Interval training is a great form of training that can be complete via circuit training.  Circuit training is taking a variety of exercises, some strength and some endurance, and completing one after the next with minimal rest.  This will help keep intensity levels high and keep you active in shorter bouts of exercise.

  • 3 Answers
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    You can make sure that your child gets enough exercise at school by first finding out if the school has a comprehensive health program that includes physical education. PE has fallen by the wayside in many schools as more emphasis has been placed on academics, but it's important that children have a chance to move their bodies and take a break from the books during the day. If physical education is not a regular part of your child’s curriculum, talk to school officials. If you can, band with other parents; often there's more strength in numbers.

    In general, children and teens need 60 minutes of activity a day. Exercise is important for building strong bones and muscles and reducing the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and many other conditions. If your kid isn't getting much physical activity while she's at school, do all you can to make up for it: Sign her up for a town sports team or dance classes, and organize family activities, like bike riding, gardening, playing tag or taking walks after dinner. Even in cool or cold weather, you can rake leaves together or have snowball fights.
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  • 13 Answers
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Physical activity reduces stress and calms kids, making them happier and more attentive in the classroom. Physically fit children are also more likely to skip risky behaviors. Physical education (PE) is one of the best ways to battle both obesity, which affects 30% of all teens, and type 2 diabetes, which has increased in kids 21% since 2001. Obesity and diabetes threaten children's heart health—even while they're young—and place a huge economic burden on society.

    Believe it or not, in the United States only 8% of elementary schools and 6% of middle schools and high schools provide daily PE for everyone, and 20% of elementary schools have abolished physical education altogether.
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