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Why Is Physical Fitness So Important for Kids?

written by: Stephanie Mojica • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 4/29/2009

There are a number of answers to the question of why is physical fitness so important for kids. Not only does it help prevent childhood obesity and other health problems, but it can aid in concentration and mood.

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    Introduction

    Why is physical fitness so important for kids? This is a question that parents and even teachers sometimes struggle to answer. However, studies and publications from a number of sources, including the federal government of the United States, show that there are many more reasons for kids to get regular exercise than to not do so. When the activity of choice is for a child to run around the backyard or watch a television program, the best bet for the average child is to do the physical exercise option.

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    Benefits

    MedLine Plus is a publication of the United States government that discusses a number of health issues, including the answers to why is physical fitness so important for kids. Benefits of regular exercise for children include maintenance of a healthy weight, more readiness to learn in school, better self-esteem and self-image, build healthy bones, muscles, and joints, and get better sleep at night.

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    Recommendation

    The federal government recommends an hour of exercise per day for children, including any school P.E. and/or recess programs. The activities can range from walking around the neighborhood with a trusted relative or friend, playing in the backyard, using playground equipment, swimming, or playing sports such as baseball and basketball. As always, any physical exercise should be appropriate for the child's fitness and age level, and under proper supervision for the younger kids. In addition, it is important to remember that swimming is best done under the watch of a lifeguard, and that most sports such as football or soccer require padding and other protective equipment.

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    Conclusion

    Taking steps to live the idea of why is physical fitness so important for kids does not have to be expensive or time-consuming, and can replace or lessen the amount of television children watch. Getting parents and other relatives involved can also make exercise more fun and for family bonding. No matter what activity is chosen, the benefits of exercise for children far outweigh any risks or expense.

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    Resources

    "MedLine Plus: Exercise for Children." http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/exerciseforchildren.html