Did you know that kids in Colorado don’t get as much activity as they ought to? Adults and seniors in the state may lead the country in terms of levels of physical activity, but young Coloradans only rank 24th. So goes the chief finding in the report “Extra Credit: Get Active” by the Colorado Health Foundation and the Colorado Health Institute. Additionally, only a little less than half of high school students get to stretch and move about in once-a-week physical education classes, which are not required.
With these findings in mind, local health institutions urge parents to be more creative and persistent in encouraging their kids to exercise. Pediatricians in Westminster, the state’s seventh most populous city, also share this sentiment. Aside from formal physical education programs, kids can also enroll in sports clinics and other activities that they will both enjoy and get health benefits from.
How Kids Benefit from Physical Activity
Various studies have shown the benefits of physical activity in children. Preventing obesity (and the numerous medical disorders that arise from the condition) would be the most well-known advantage to keeping a child’s weight in check through exercise. Beyond weight management, keeping fit can also benefit a child’s mental health. In fact, a recent study by the University of Illinois concluded that exercise programs can help school-age children sharpen their thinking skills and ultimately improve their academic performance.
Cautions to Take
Of course, you can’t go overboard with the intensity or the amount of time dedicated to your child’s exercise. You can’t be too rigid with their exercise schedule (balanced with their studies), either, since it could backfire and leave your little one feeling tired or even burned out. Stick to the ideal physical activity, which is “60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity activity per day, to be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration” according to WHO guidelines for children and adolescents.
Experienced pediatricians in Westminster, such as someone at Indian Crest Pediatrics, can also help plan your kid’s lifestyle change in a safe and effective way. Such a doctor can perform routine exams or sports physicals to make sure your child is ready for the activities he/she wants to pursue.
A Westminster pediatrics office is also where you should bring your child if he or she ever sustains wounds, sprains, and other minor injuries that require treatment in the clinic setting. If your child has special conditions like asthma or childhood obesity with some complications, a pediatrician can also recommend safe exercises or levels of activity and any required adjustments to the management of your child’s condition.
Report: Colorado kids aren’t getting enough exercise, Chalkbeat COLORADO, April 6, 2015
How to pump up kids’ brains? Exercise, SFGATE
WHO Recommends 150 Minutes Per Week Of Physical Activity For Good Health, RTT News