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Here's why children need to exercise too!

It is very important for kids to play outdoor games. © Shutterstock

Tips from fitness expert Neeraj Mehta will make it easier for you to help your kids start an exercise routine.

Written by Debjani Arora |Published : February 29, 2016 6:09 PM IST

If you are looking for a straight answer to this question, then it is a yes. But do they need to do it like adults do spending specific time walking, running or gyming then the answer is no. Remember exercise regimen for kids and adults are different and it depends on the different age group of growing children. But kids should be encouraged to exercise on a daily basis as that is one of the good habits you should cultivate in your child early to curb the incidence of lifestyle-related ailments later, says fitness expert Neeraj Mehta, director of GFFI Fitness Academy. Here are nine reasons why every child should get involved in sports.

One reason we need to stress more on children s exercise regimen these days is because most kids are glued to their computer screens and spend less time playing outside. This is why childhood obesity and also diabetes are rising these days. So as a parent it becomes your duty to see that your child is physically active and fit to lead a healthy life in future. Read this article to know why your child needs to lose weight.

Here is how you can help your child exercise

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For kids under 12 years of age: You can start with exercise as early as two years of age provided your child can walk and talk properly. For this age group focus more on lateral movement skills, body control and fundamental motor skills. So indulge more in free running, free hand activities, aerobics and simple games like running, catching (catch a ball), picking marbles, etc. These exercises can help boost circulation in kids, develop strong bones, improve muscle mass and shed excess calories. They also help to develop fine motor skills. Here is why you should keep your baby away from smart toys.

For kids above 12 years of age: For this age group focus should be on improving physical skills, strength, stamina, flexibility, agility, and balance. More of obstacle training and strength training can be incorporated into their routine. Kids in this age group should be encouraged to take up sports as bicycling, swimming, tennis, skating, etc. This is the right age to teach them sportsmanship too. So, include cooperative games which enhance social skills and group play like kabaddi, football, cricket, etc.

Things to remember:

  • Never force your child to take up a sport against her wish.
  • Young kids should not do weight lifting. If you introduce weights, make your child do it under strict supervision after age 12.
  • Make sure your child spends at least an hour of time everyday playing outdoor sports.

Image source: Shutterstock

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