When completed correctly, exercise can provide significant benefits to your child. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The percentage of children with obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s. Today, about one in five school-aged children (ages 6–19) has obesity.” These statistics are alarming at first, however, with proper diet and a sufficient level of physical activity, you can ensure that your child maintains an optimal level of health that can carry over into their adolescent and adult life.
At Valley Child Care and Learning Centers, we are the leading child care center in Phoenix, Tempe, Anthem, Glendale, and the surrounding areas of Arizona. Our staff of professionals are trained in working in a hands-on environment, where children can grow and succeed. With 10 available locations equipped with curriculum designed to help your child exceed early learning standards for the state of Arizona, you can be sure that your child is enrolled with one of Arizona’s top learning centers. If you would like to learn more on the many benefits of children receiving an adequate amount of exercise, read more below!
Lower Cortisol Levels
While it is not typical for many children to experience undue stress early on in life, frequently exercising can help to lower the main stress hormone, cortisol, that is responsible for the release of other stress-related hormones. While regular exercise can reduce overall cortisol levels, exercising can also cause the body to naturally release endorphins, the hormones that are responsible for stress-fighting and pain management.
While children are not terribly fond of routine workouts, you can make exercising fun by going on a bike ride with your youngster or taking your little one to go swimming at your nearest community pool. However, if you want to ensure that your child is enjoying their exercise, consider asking them which outdoor activity they love most. Almost all outdoor activities require some sort of physical exercise, and taking part in your child’s favorite outdoor activities will make them enjoy time spent with you even more.
Expending Energy Naturally
A major benefit for children who participate in exercise, is the fact that it gives your child a chance to expend their energy naturally. You may not be able to keep up with your little one’s level of energy, which makes physical activity the perfect antidote for your needs. By simply taking your youngster to a neighborhood park, you can give your child a safe space to run, jump, and climb, allowing them to burn off excess energy or hyperactivity. To make your trip to the park even more worthwhile, suggest to your little one that you ride bikes to the park. By implementing physical activity before and after play time, you can rest assured that your child will sleep soundly after a hard day of play.
Reconnect with Nature
Nature walks are a highly underrated activity that can help your young one find a sense of calm and wonder in the world. Not only does reconnecting with nature give adults an opportunity to teach their child about plants, animals, and everything in between, it is also a great way for children to practice mindfulness. This may help to calm your child in other areas of their life, and you, too, may find that spending time in nature provides you with the sense of calm you have been searching for.
A simple exercise that parents can practice with their children involves walking along a trail in the wilderness and asking your child to point out every new sound that they hear along the way. This is a fun way to teach children how to be more aware of their surroundings, and can even help as a tool to teach your little one about how the changing of the seasons can affect the environment around them.
Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
Teaching your child the importance of physical fitness early on in their life can greatly affect how they value physical fitness as they become older. The State of Obesity noted that, “Nearly one-third (31.3 percent) of children ages 10 to 17 are overweight or obese. And 13.9 percent of high school students are obese.” More often than not, when an individual is mindful of their exercise habits, they are generally mindful of other aspects of their life. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle reaches far beyond exercise and can include diet, adequate sleep, stretching, and much more.
There are endless activities you can do with your child that will make your little one feel loved and valued by how much time you spend with them. By teaching your kiddo to remain physically active, you can ensure that he or she continues to do so as they develop into adults.
The benefits of exercise are both immediate and long lasting. For more information on why exercise is great for children, read part one of our multi-part series! Children are extremely active by nature, but providing them with the proper environment to expend their energy will help your child develop in every aspect of their life.
At Valley Care and Learning Centers, we know how important physical activity is to children, which is why we allot several hours throughout the day to let your child play and socialize with his or her peers. If you are interested in enrolling your child in our infant, toddler, or after school care program, visit our website or contact us today for more information!