Promoting Your Childs Heart Health
Cardiovascular endurance is one of the five health-related components of physical fitness. It refers to the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. In simple terms, someone with great cardiovascular endurance has a strong heart - one that actually grows in size and pumps more blood with every beat, resulting in a lower heart rate.
As you can imagine, this can only happen when an individual regularly exercises. Typically, it's aerobic exercise that improves cardiovascular fitness - but, where children are concerned, we can't think of "aerobics" in the same way that we do for adults.
For one thing, children won't exercise for the same reason we adults do. Most adults exercise for the sake of their health or because they want to look good. Children should never be encouraged to exercise because it will make them look good, even if obesity is an issue. Emphasizing exercise for the sake of appearance places the wrong value on physical activity - and appearance!
As far as health benefits are concerned, unlike adults, young children live very much in the present moment. They're simply incapable of projecting themselves into the future. So you can't expect your toddler, preschooler, or even your first-or second-grader to exercise because it will ensure he's healthier at age 40 or he'll look and feel better at 60. Even if you explain that exercise will make him healthier right now, you're not likely to get an enthusiastic response. These are all adult concepts - adult goals - beyond a child's cognitive and emotional capabilities.
Additionally, young children are not made for long, uninterrupted periods of strenuous activity. So expecting them to jog, walk briskly, or follow an exercise video for 20 to 30 minutes, particularly before the age of six, is not only unrealistic but could be damaging. At the very least, it can ensure an intense dislike of physical activity that results in a lifelong devotion to being a couch potato.
Rather, when we consider developmentally appropriate aerobic activities for children, we should be thinking along the lines of moderate to vigorous play and movement. Physical activity that's moderately intense will increase the heart rate and breathing somewhat, while vigorous-intensity movement takes a lot more effort and will result in a noticeable increase in breathing. The latter can usually be sustained for a maximum of 20 to 30 minutes.
Riding a bicycle, swimming, walking, marching, chasing bubbles, playing tag, dancing to moderate- to fast-paced music, and jumping rope all fall under the heading of moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise for children. In other words, it's anything that keeps the child moving continuously, sometimes strenuously and sometimes less so.
The American Heart Association assures us we needn't be concerned with target heart rates in children. Yes, we want to get their hearts pumping on a daily basis; but, whenever possible, we want to ensure it happens naturally. If you've noticed your child is definitely not getting enough exercise to improve cardiovascular fitness, joining in on the play yourself may be all that's needed. Start slowly, gradually increasing the length of time you maintain movement (by a few minutes a week) and stopping immediately should your child experience any discomfort. Before you know it, daily or almost-daily, moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity will be a way of life.
Rae Pica is a children's movement specialist and author of Your Active Child: How to Promote Physical, Emotional, and Cognitive Development through Age-Appropriate Activity (McGraw-Hill, 2003). Rae speaks to parent and education groups throughout North America. Visit her and read more articles at www.movingandlearning.com.
A Call For Fathers
Dads, please let me encourage you to change some things in your life. A recent University study found that the average father in America spends less than sixty seconds per day in conversations with his children! The actual number was 47 seconds per day.
Your Job as a Role Model
A certain educator was once asked at what point should a parent begin to prepare for child raising."How old are you?" the educator inquired.
Weathering Colic for New Parents
A common problem many times facing parents is Colic. Estimates say that between 15-25% of infants are born with Colic.
Busy, Working Parents --- 22 Ways To Homeschool Your Kids
If you're a single parent or a married couple on a tight budget so that both parents have to work, you may worry about finding the time and energy to homeschool your children, but it can be done. It comes down to planning and scheduling your time.
Teach Your Children - Without Them Knowing They Are Learning!
The great thing about children is they absorb knowledge like a sponge. The downside to this is that they are typically wise to the fact that they don't want to sit down and be taught, fortunately as parents we can think of ways around that! Here are some great ideas of ways to promote learning with your children.
Remember The Generation Gap?
The techniques of managing relationships between parents and their children is as old as..
When Kids Hurt Parents
The cruel callous remarks made by our offspring can sometimes wound us deeply, to the very core of our soul. The hurtful words of our children can scar us like no other.
Is There Any Real Use For A Fun Quiz?
Q. I don't like my children spending so much time on the computer and playing video games.
When Time Out Dont Work
Joey steps away from his time out chair "I won't sit!" His mother is frustrated and throws her hands in the air..
Teach Children The Skills Of Optimism
Optimists do better academically, socially and enjoy better health than pessimists.Helping your child look on the bright side is a significant life skill to develop.
Top Seven Tips for Back-to-School Success
Parents play a critical role in their child's success. These seven tips from http://www.
Parenting Secrets Revealed
So your little Susie wants to join a competitive gymnastic club? You conclude that this is going to be great fun! Maybe, you even think this is just the ticket your bouncy little girl needs to get rid of her pent-up energy while meeting other little friends. Initially, all seems well as you proudly watch your Susie happily striving to achieve equilibrium success.
Top 25 Children Quotations
"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
The Neurology of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Part One
What is Happening in the brain of children, teens, and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?The most recent models describing what is happening in the brains of people with Attention Deficit Disorder suggest that several areas of the brain may be affected by the disorder. These impacted areas include the frontal lobes, the inhibitory mechanisms of the cortex, the limbic system, and the reticular activating system.
Kids, Chores & More
Are you a frustrated parent who sometimes finds it is easier to take the garbage out yourself than to keep nagging your son? Do you wonder what kind of employee he will become since he doesn't always follow through at home? Is it worth the effort on your part to insist that he do his share? The answer is a resounding Yes!The lessons of life and self that we want our children to learn in our homes are not only the practical ones, such as making a bed, sewing on a button or cooking a meal. They include intangible benefits as well; it is equally important for children to learn the art of cooperation, the satisfaction of finishing a job, the ease in following a schedule and the value of sticking with a task.
Income that PAYS Your Child Support WITHOUT Increasing Your Child Support
Child support is defined as that part of your income you would spend on your children if they lived with you. Custodial parents do not pay child support, because it is assumed that they are spending money on the children, either directly (clothes, entertainment, etc.
"Mommy, I Can't Sleep!": Sleep Disturbance in Children
Oh Please, Don't Say Maybe!!!!Are you often a participant in an unraveling parent-child interaction? Well you're not alone. Interactions between parents and their children often transgress before our eyes.
Because Every Child Is A Born Genuis
Graphology for Child development.:- Graphology is the science of understanding the human mind through person's handwriting.
Sibling Fighting - Reduce Sibling Rivalry by NOT Keeping Score
Recently, a much-anticipated game of mini-golf with my children soon turned into a disaster. There were smiles all round as we hit off from the first tee but the enjoyment factor was reduced to zero as my children's smiles were replaced by tears, put downs and whining.
Parenting Your Teenager: 3 Ways to Make the Time
Every now and then I'll get a story sent to me by e-mail that is a no-brainer idea for an article. One of those came across my desk just the other day.
|home | site map|