What are the benefits of good nutrition and daily exercise for kids?
Mental and behavioral benefits
Good nutrition is essential to healthy brain development in children which is, of course, critical to learning.Children who exercise regularly and eat healthily are likely to:
- perform better academically - feel better about themselves, their bodies, and their abilities- cope with stress and regulate their emotions better- avoid feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
Establishing healthy eating and exercise habits early in life can lead to long term healthy behavior in adulthood.
Children need a wide variety of nutrients (e.g., protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, minerals, vitamins) to assist in their daily growth and development and to protect them from childhood illnesses.Daily exercise also helps children to build stronger muscles and bones and limit excess body fat.Healthy eating also cuts down on risk for cavities, eating disorders and unhealthy weight control behaviors (i.e., fasting, skipping meals, eating very little food, vomiting, using diet pills, laxatives, or diuretics), malnutrition, and iron deficiency.Healthy eating and consistent physical activity help to prevent chronic illnesses that appear in adulthood associated with obesity, e.g., heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and several forms of cancer.
How early can you start getting them active?
Develop a gradually increasing, age-appropriate training regime. When your child is 8 or 9 years old, a little jogging and other light training skills are okay, and as he or she gets into the teen years, more weight training may be added. Again, check with your coach or a personal trainer to teach your child the correct form.