When kids are active, their bodies can do the things they want and need them to do. Why? Because regular exercise provides these benefits:
· strong muscles and bones
· weight control
· decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
· better sleep
· a better outlook on life
Healthy, physically active kids also are more likely to be academically motivated, alert, and successful. And physical competence builds self-esteem at every age.
So there's a lot to gain from regular physical activity, but how do you encourage kids to do it? The three keys are:
1. Choosing the right activities for a child's age: If you don't, the child may be bored or frustrated.
2. Giving kids plenty of opportunity to be active: Kids need parents to make activity easy by providing equipment and taking them to playgrounds and other active spots.
3. Keeping the focus on fun: Kids won't do something they don't enjoy.
When kids enjoy an activity, they want to do more of it. Practicing a skill — whether it's swimming or riding a tricycle — improves their abilities and helps them feel accomplished, especially when the effort is noticed and praised. These good feelings often make kids want to continue the activity and even try others.
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