Research surveys conducted among kids have time and again proven how those who exercise more outperform those that don't - even academically. Unfortunately, our schools and universities continue to stack on the instruction hours leaving hardly any time for physical activity. So, it's all up to the parents to make up for this during the post-school hours.
Studies show that on an average, one hour of rigorous physical activity everyday can improve cognitive and brain function in kids, strengthen their bones and immunity and can reduce the risk of diabetes during adulthood.
Reconnect with the real world
Whether it is watching television, reading or playing video games - keep their number of sedentary hours under the radar. We live in an age where almost every outdoor activity has a virtual counterpart that can be brought home - be it virtual tennis or dancing. Needless to say, these can never replace the health benefits of some fun and play in the sun. So keep a strict limit on the time spent in front of the screens and send your kids out to play more often. It doesn't matter what they do as long as they are moving.
Be it for adults or kids, a spontaneous bout of exercise throughout the day is more advisable than a strict regimen. So it is useful to incorporate physical activity as much as possible throughout the day. For example, opt for the stairs instead of the elevator. You can even leave a skipping rope lying around the house to encourage activity during their breaks from studying and homework.
Children see, children do
Are you among those parents who keep urging your kids to go play in the park but would rather be staying at home yourself? Children grow up imitating their parents in everything from their speaking mannerisms to the dining table etiquette. Staying active yourself is crucial to motivating your child to stay fit. When your child sees you following strict exercise routines, they will get up and follow you.
Owing to their school calendars, there may be different 'seasons' or time periods that your child's nutritional needs may vary according to their level of physical activity in that season. For example, exam time requires more mental alertness during which your child needs more of proteins found in nuts, eggs and milk. During the sports week, they need more energy giving carbohydrates found in breads and sugary fruits. You can consider nutritional supplements like Himalaya's HiOwna Kidz which have a balanced mix of vitamins, proteins and other elements that can make up for any dip in their recommended nutritional intake.