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Importance of Exercise

Blog - 30 January 2023

Importance of Exercise

Physical exercise is crucial for growing bodies, offering a host of health benefits that can impact children’s life as an adult. Not only will it help develop and maintain physical health, but regular exercise will also encourage children to lead an active lifestyle with long-term benefits of mental and social wellbeing.

As much as adults spend time working all day – mostly sitting for prolonged hours and in front of a computer – children also spend most of their days at school, sitting at their desk, doing homework and reading – not to mention time spent in front of the TV or on a mobile device. Although we can reduce the time spent being inactive, many children are still not getting enough physical exercise they need to stay healthy. 25% of parents are concerned about their children's lack of physical activity, along with 14% of school leaders (CIS, 2023).

Children of all ages can benefit from being physically active, even from birth. From moving on the floor and practising “tummy time” as a baby to increasing your heart rate through a vigorous exercise as a teen (i.e. playing organised sports), there are multiple ways to keep your child active at every stage of life.

The last thing you’d want is for children to think of 'exercise’ as just “running on a treadmill” or “working out at a gym”. You want them to perceive it as a natural part of their every day and something fun they enjoy.

So, before you encourage children to be physically active, here are some good reasons why they should.

  • Supports healthy body weight and build strong bones, muscles and joints
  • Promotes positive mental health and general wellbeing
  • Improves self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases (i.e. type 2 diabetes) and health issues

How can you encourage your child to be active and stay active? To keep kids fit, it’s important that they’re exposed to a variety of fun, age-appropriate activities they enjoy. It could be climbing on monkey bars at the playground or playing sport with friends, dancing, swimming or even going for a walk around the local park.

For an at-home activity, try out great indoor obstacle course idea.

You can always find ways to weave a physical activity into your child’s day, such as walking to school, helping in the garden, and helping with chores and other housework. They may not seem too impressed or eager at first but acknowledging them when they try is a good starting point.

NOTE: Make sure you praise them for their effort and reward them in a way that isn’t superficial (i.e. “you look like you’ve lost weight!”), materialistic (i.e. giving pocket money or buying something for them) or conditional (i.e. “if you exercise, I’ll let you watch TV for an hour”).

Another great way to encourage physical activity is through our 2023 Handball Championships – happening in Term 1 across the nation! REGISTER NOW to take part in this exclusive event for Camp Australia families!

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