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Increasing Activity With Sports and Exercise

Getting Kids Active With Sports and Excercise

Is your child a couch potato? With so many distractions for kids not to exercise, from video games to computers, kids are more unfit now than they were at any other time in our history. A lack of exercise can stagnate the development of muscles and bones in growing children. This can affect their health in the long term as well. Here’s why exercise is very important for a growing kid and how he or she can stay active.

Kids Need Sports & Excercise

Exercise and sports are good for the mind and body: they reduce stress, aggression and anxiety, improve morale and well-being and promote a good mood. Sporting achievements also increase self-confidence. Exercise increases metabolism and ensures the body is well supplied with blood. This is important, because it's blood that transports the oxygen and nutrients to where they are needed – in every individual cell in the body. Muscles are built up – the body becomes stronger and your stamina increases daily.

Regular sporting activities increase overall performance, as they boost the overall cardiovascular system. Your child will thereby become more resilient, both physically and mentally. They will also be able to concentrate better at school and on their homework.

What You Can Do

Driving, watching TV and sedentary lifestyle are just some of the factors that can make us lazy. Aim to get more energy into family life every day so that kids can learn from it. For example, don't take your kid to the school by car. It is often possible to make the journey by bicycle or on foot. If your child is still too young or the journey is too dangerous to let them go alone, go with them. Or check if your child can join a group that includes older children, or a group that is always accompanied by a parent. With this option, the parents of all the children can take turns, and save time.

Exercise will also benefit your child's academic performance. Those who run around and play with the others at break times will also be able to concentrate better in lessons. Skipping and cycling are still popular in the playground today. Give your children skipping ropes and bicycles instead of video games. There are a lot of fun designs and options you can get your child to choose from that will get them excited.

You should be active together with your children as much as your time allows: going cycling, swimming or on a trek together, or just going for a nice walk in the evening, is good for the whole family. This is a great way to share experiences and have a good time together . You will also be setting a great example for an active lifestyle.

Sports For Kids

Kindergarteners are motivated to do more exercise by means of games, little competitions or imaginary journeys. At this age movement games such as catching games, ball games and hopscotch are all very popular. By the time children reach primary school, sport often becomes more challenging: swimming, ball games, gymnastics, skipping or cycling are preferred.

Now is also a good time to look for a favourite sport. Clubs generally offer free trial training sessions. Let your child try out different types of sports until they find their favourite one. They will only continue with a sport if they really enjoy it. Some of the benefits of various sports are listed below:

Type Of Sport Benefits
Endurance sport
e.g. Swimming, Cycling, In-Line Skating
  • Builds up stamina Optimal cardiovascular training
  • Ideal as a training basis for other types of sports
  • Burns a lot of calories
Team sports
e.g. Badminton, Basketball, Football, Handball, Tennis, Volleyball
  • Promotes team spirit
  • Interaction with like-minded team mates
  • Improves hand-eye coordination
Adventure, fun and nature-based sports
e.g. Canoeing, Climbing, Riding, Skiing, Snowboarding, Diving
  • Requires quite a lot of time and good basic equipment (not cheap)
  • Good coordination and endurance training
Music-oriented sports
e.g. Ballet, Jazz Dance, Dancing, Hip-Hop, Rope Skipping, Ice-Skating
  • Well suited to those who love music and moving to a beat
  • Improves agility, coordination and stamina
Martial arts
e.g. Aikido, Boxing, Fencing, Judo, Karate/Tae Kwon-Do, Wrestling, Thai Boxing
  • Improves agility and coordination
  • Sharpens alertness and reflexes