Dr. Kassam Keep Kids Moving This March Break

Keep Kids Moving This March Break

 

Written By: Dr. Saira Kassam, ND

 

 

Did you know that North American children and youth routinely fail to meet the minimum recommendation of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day?  Sadly, there is a growing trend of inactivity among school-aged children. We live in a generation dominated by technology where enjoying time outdoors is competing with the latest video game. This makes it increasingly difficult to meet the daily physical exercise requirements in children. Since March break is around the corner lets take some time to discuss WHY kids need to be spending more time being physically active and less time sitting in front of a screen.

 

IMPROVED PHYSICAL HEALTH 

  • Increased physical activity in general, reduces the lifetime risk of non-communicable chronic diseases!
  • Regular physical activity can help to:
    • Develop movement skills
    • Develop stronger bones & muscles
    • Maintain a healthy body weight through increasing metabolism
    • Reduce pain from Premenstrual syndrome in girls
  • TIP: Start the day off with some sort of physical activity, like jumping jacks

IMPROVED BRAIN HEALTH

  • Physical activity plays an important role in developing the brain and supporting essential mental functions
  • Research shows that regular moderate exercise can increase areas of the brain that are associated with learning and memory for improved motor skills, hand-eye coordination and better thinking!
  • TIP: Did you know that Omega 3 supplements also work to promote brain function and memory in children?

IMPROVED MENTAL & EMOTIONAL HEALTH

  • Exercise helps to maintain mental well being
  • Regular physical activity can help to:
    • Improve mood, energy levels and sleep
    • Reduce anxiety
    • Improve body image through appreciating the body for what it can do vs. how it looks
    • Improve self-esteem
  • TIP: Did you know that an Omega-3 + Vitamin D supplement can help to improve mood in kids?

 

HOW TO ENGAGE KIDS IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

  • Set limits for weekly screen time
  • Reduce time spent sitting or resting during waking hours
  • Encourage fun activities at home, like dancing while listening to music
  • Encourage kids to play outside by finding nearby parks or any open spaces. Spending time outdoors can help to hit the daily intake of Vitamin D through sun exposure. If spending time outdoors is minimal, consider a Vitamin D Supplement.
  • Teach kids to take the stairs as a form of exercise
  • Walk kids to the bus stop vs. driving to the bus stop
  • Parents should be engaging in physical activity as well to lead by example!

 

 

Increased physical activity has many benefits for children, including better physical health, improved academic performance and better self-esteem. Use March Break as a means to encourage kids to spend more time being active over the holidays! Remember healthy kids, healthy future! Stay tuned for next week’s article on some great recipes kids will love over the March break!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Disclaimer

The advice in this article is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the care of a Naturopathic physician. 

 

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