Physical Exercise – A healthy Habit

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During the developmental stage of children, it is very much necessary to provide with a favourable environment for optimum growth. Physical fitness and routine exercise schedule can provide all kinds of necessary inputs to the child’s mind and body for complete strength and nourishment.

Benefits of regular exercises during developing stages : 
  • The most important part of the body that participates in growth is our bones. A child can grow in height up to the age of 22 till the ossification of the end plates is complete. So exercises on daily count can help improve the blood supply to the end plates more rapidly for proper growth of bones.
  • Physical fitness helps make the child more active and agile by increasing the immunity power and making the body more flexible.
  • Studies have shown that more physically fit children are intelligent and they focus and concentrate in studies much easier than other children who are confined to limited activities only.
  • Physical fitness enhances the nervous system of the child by stimulating more synaptic actions and activating the memory, cognitive and perceptual areas of the brain.
  • Physical fitness not only involving sports and outdoor activities but some mind and body peace activity like yoga, deep breathing, Pilates can also help the child initiate a sense of calmness and positivity which eradicates the behavioural changes and cranky personality of a child.
  • Some forms of physical fitness help as a defence mechanism for teenage girls and help them travel in society more safely.
  • Minimum of 1-hour regular exercise programme should be conducted at the school level and at home as well for children in the morning to make the child ready for the entire day.
  • Physical activity also induces good sleep and provides relaxation to the entire body because of increased circulation to brain and body.
  • Physical activities regulate all the circulating systems of the body and thereby reducing the chance of diseases in future. Also, improves bowel and bladder system.
  • Physical fitness improves secretion of good hormones in the body for better metabolism.
Physical activities that children can practice everyday :
  1. Outdoor sports activities like cricket, football, kho kho, badminton can be played.
  2. Regular walk (parents and children) together can also give good “family” time.
  3. Regular exercise routines like stretching (active stretching of arms, forearm, legs(hamstring, quadriceps muscles especially), core strengthening, gym ball exercises, yogas like “suryanamaskar” are suggested.
  4. Jumping, jogging, skipping, Trampoline jump not only are beneficial for the body but also are fun to do.
  5. Swimming is one of the most effective ways of using all body parts along with buoyancy of water. But hydrophobic children should not be allowed to do.
  6. Children should be encouraged to help their mother in household works like cleaning their study tables, shelves, cleaning and placing books, etc. also helps maintain flexibility in children and keeps them active.
  7. Children between 3-7 years age should be involved in activity-oriented games in which they utilise their mind and body for proper development.
  8. Dance, Aerobics are other enjoyable physical activities which keep the children involved for a longer time.
  9. Self-mobilisation of the trunk by rotation, forward and backward bending, wall sliding exercises can also be done.
  10. Karate, taekwondo are other forms of engaging children in activities.

All these kinds of activities can best be performed by a mother as she stays for a long duration with the child at home. So, a routine should be scheduled for children to do a minimum of 1 hour of exercise at home besides schooling and study hours because practice begins at home.

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