We live in an increasingly sedentary society, and it is quite clear to see the effect that it is having not only on our lives but on the lives of our kids. In the developed world, our children are becoming unhealthier and more obese, and we are becoming increasingly dependent on technology to go about our daily lives. While we as adults have a choice in how we live our lives, our children rely on us for their every need. One of the most important things that we not only can do, but simply must do for them, is to instill in them a desire and urgency to grow up as active, healthy individuals.
Taking your children out on regular walks is a fantastic way of engaging them in a basic exercise routine. We aren’t talking about excessive exercise at a young age, but simple walks around the neighborhood, perhaps exploring nearby areas or taking the family dog to the park. Physical exercise is not only important to keep children’s weight in check, but it is vital for the muscular development. Exercise strengthens muscles and bones in young children, and many simply aren’t getting enough of it.
The benefits, however, are not just physical. Exercise releases endorphins, resulting in children feeling happier and more energized as they go about their day. This can have a huge impact on fostering a general feeling of self-worth in children, and go a long way in aiding their mental development. Walking with your kids also allows you to dedicate time to them – time that many children crave. This isn’t a time to have a long chat with your best friend while your child walks in silence, this is an opportunity to talk to and bond with your child. Such opportunities can be difficult to come by in a busy schedule, and must be grasped when they present themselves.
Ultimately, we should want to take our kids out walking because there is no real excuse not to. The benefits are as numerous as they are important to our children’s development, and there is simply no downside whatsoever. Even ignoring that, it is superb exercise for the parents, and a healthy parent often leads to a healthier child! If you can find the time, try and start taking your kids out for regular walks. Not only will it aid their development, but it will strengthen your relationship with them, and that’s too good an offer to turn down.