Children

Together for an Active Generation

Hamad Al-Kuwari/ Physical Educator
Aspetar
26 June, 2018

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~~Physical activity is one of the best methods for maintaining health and well-being. It has been established that physical activity supports children’s psychosocial and physical development as well as their self-esteem enhancement. As the famous proverb states: “A sound mind in a sound body”! Scientific evidence suggests that adopting physical activity, as part of a healthy lifestyle, begins at the early stages of a child’s development. Therefore, it is important to include various sports activities within the child's daily agenda for ensuring a healthy growth and development.
Nowadays, most children are attracted to electronic games and tablets which is marked by a higher screen time, thus, increasing their sedentary behavior as well as obesity-related risks.
Disadvantages of physical inactivity:
• The child will be susceptible to serious diseases (such as diabetes, obesity, cholesterol, and osteoporosis).
• The child is more inclined to isolation and solitude.
• Delayed mental, intellectual and muscular abilities.
• Weakness in social communication skills.
Ways to encourage children’s physical activity:
• Assign a specific time for exercise (running/ swimming/ Football)
• Participate in physical activities and festivals during school hours
• Reduce sitting time and the use of electronic devices to two hours daily
• Involvement of parents with their children and support the development of their activity-related hobbies (bike riding/ swimming)
• Provide suitable conditions and appropriate places for children’s physical activity
World Health Organization recommendations for physical activity:
Physical activity for children age 5-17 years includes playing, matches, sport games, recreation, physical education, family or school organized sports, and community activities. In order to improve cardiovascular and musculoskeletal fitness, protect bone health, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, it is recommended for children to:
1. Engage in more than 60 minutes of daily physical activity due to the recognized health benefits.
2. Participate in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.
3. Allocate the bigger part of daily physical activity for aerobic and high intensity exercises, such as muscles and bones strengthening exercises (resistance exercise), for at least 3 times a week.
It is our responsibility as parents to ensure the health and behavior of our children; therefore, we should make the right healthy decisions, especially during their early age. We need to be an ideal role model for our children by setting physical activity as a priority and motivating them to participate in various sports activities. The more active children are at an early age, they are more likely to adopt and maintain such behavior in the future.
 

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