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Ages 5 to 17 are a period of growth where physical and mental conditions are developing. At the age of children to adolescents, the cardiovascular system, muscles, and bones undergo rapid changes and become stronger. In addition, children learn various things about their environment while outside the home. This development will only be optimal if the child is active in physical activities outside the home.
There are various physical activities that are suitable for children aged 5-17 years such as physical games, sports, recreational activities that can be done in a family, school or community environment. Children also only need time which tends to be shorter to fulfill the adequacy of physical activity. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that children aged 5 to 17 years actively move for 60 minutes per day in three days per week. This can also mean 30 minutes of activity in the morning, followed by 30 minutes in the afternoon. The longer the duration the better.
Why do children need to do physical activity?
Broadly speaking, the benefits of exercising in children are helping various body tissues to develop, and training the body so that they can coordinate well. With active moves, various bone, muscle, and joint tissues can absorb nutrients better so they can grow stronger. Moving children will also increase the capacity of the cardiovascular system, because the heart and lungs will get used to using oxygen and channeling it throughout the body.
In addition, childhood is the right time to train the brain to coordinate with all limb muscles, so that the child has a balance of the body and can control the limbs better.
Indirectly, children will actively burn calories so that the stored fat will be less, and the weight will be in accordance with their height and age. In addition, with physical activity outside the home, children will have more playmates. This will encourage children to interact with individuals their age and help to build self-confidence. So, at the age of adolescents and adults, children will have the ability to adapt in a social environment better and can overcome mental problems such as anxiety and depression.
What can be done so that children are active in physical activity
With increasing age, it will be more difficult to develop children's habits to meet physical activity needs. That's why this must be accustomed from an early age. Here are some tips that can be done to help your child move more actively:
1. First, recognize how much physical activity needs according to age
The physical activity needs of children can differ based on their age:
- Kindergarten age or preschool - requires activities that help develop motor skills such as throwing and kicking a ball, running around, or riding a tricycle.
- Early school age - at this age the child can understand the rules of the game, so recognize the talents and interests of the child. You can also enter a sports club child he likes at the beginning of school age. However, not all children will have an interest in certain sports games. The role of parents is very necessary to invite children to do activities outside the home such as walking or cycling.
- Teen age - at this stage the child usually has the choice for physical activity. The thing parents can do is fulfill their needs for physical activities such as sports equipment so that children are more motivated. But parents also need to provide direction so that children are committed to their academic responsibilities in addition to exercising.
2. If your child is attracted to gadget, limit the time in front of the screen
This needs to be done to avoid children having less physical activity outside the home because they prefer to play games inside gadget. To limit it, make a schedule for children to play with gadget for example, one or two hours per day, or restrict children's access to electronic goods such as TVs and computers in children's rooms. You also need to be an example not to use gadget in a long time around the child.
3. Make exercise a routine
This needs to be done so that children get used to and remember when to exercise. Make a schedule for activities outside the home with your child, for example by going cycling every weekend.
4. Let your child exercise with his friend
Children are very happy to do activities together with their age. Encourage or facilitate your child by inviting friends to take part in joint activities such as going out on a journey or just walking around.
5. Cultivate positive views about physical activity and exercise
This can be done by introducing children to successful figures in sports such as soccer or basketball players. Another example is to allow children to play outside the house after a day of study or after completing school assignments.
Conversely, don't force children to play outside the home if your child tends to be less active. Another thing that can make children avoid physical activity is to use it as a punishment. For example children are told to do push-up because of making a mistake, this will only lead to negative views and tend to make it avoid physical activity.
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