Getting Kids to Go Outdoors Is the Best Way to Ensure Good Health

Virginia State Parks/Wikimedia CommonsMore physical activity to lower prevalence of obesity among children.

The importance of physical activity to one's general wellbeing cannot be overemphasized. Incorporating regular exercise into one's daily habit means making it a way of life, and the best way to do that is to start early. Parents who know this to be a fact should get their kids started at a young age.

Unfortunately, getting them out of bed or the couch has become more challenging considering that children this age are glued to their devices. If the past generation of kids were hooked on video games, these days, YouTube and social media make it more difficult for them to get up.

There has been growing evidence linking higher physical activity to lower prevalence of obesity among children. This means that couch potatoes face the risk of becoming overweight when they get older and have a greater chance of developing diabetes or high blood pressure.

To attain a balanced lifestyle for kids, experts recommend a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, less than two hours of watching TV, and getting enough sleep (nine to 11 hours for five to 13-year-olds and eight to 10 hours for 14 to 18-year-olds).

A team from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge used these guidelines to study 357 children aged five to 18 years old. The results showed that children who met all three guidelines had an 89 percent lower risk of being overweight than those who met two of the three guidelines (40 percent lower risk) and those who attained only one of the guidelines (24 percent lower risk).

Physical activity doesn't have to be pure, regular exercise. These can take other forms like biking, kite-flying, outdoor games, and sports. Aside from good health, other benefits children can get out of physical activity are a boost in their brainpower and reinforced emotional resilience.