You probably know that there are many health benefits to walking for adults. But did you know that there are also health benefits of walking for kids?
Here are some reasons why you should find ways to encourage your child to add more walking to their daily routine.
Importance of Physical Activity in Childhood
The Department of Health and Human Services’ current Physical Activity Guidelines explains that “childhood and adolescence are critical periods for developing movement skills, learning healthy habits, and establishing a firm foundation for lifelong health and wellbeing. Regular physical activity in children and adolescents promotes health and fitness. Compared to those who are inactive, physically active youth have higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness and stronger muscles. They also typically have lower body fat and stronger bones.”
These benefits are not just physical. When children stay physically active, they experience brain benefits, such as improved cognitive skills such as memory, executive function, processing speed, attention, and academic performance.
The HHS recommends that children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 engage in 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Children ages 3 to 5 should aim for three hours each day of activity of light, moderate, and vigorous intensity. But this is getting harder to achieve with cuts to recess time, and more children spending sedentary time on their phones.
Walking is one way to add some of that needed physical activity back.
Benefits of Walking for Kids
One great way to include moderate aerobic activity into your child’s daily routine is by encouraging him or her to walk more. Research shows that at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, consistently reduces the risk of many chronic diseases and other adverse health outcomes.
Walking to School
One easy way to incorporate walking into your child’s routine is to have him or her walk to school. Some studies show that children who walk to school have been found to have “higher academic performance in terms of attention and alertness, verbal, numeric, and reasoning abilities; higher degree of pleasantness and lower levels of stress during the school day; and higher levels of happiness, excitement and relaxation on the journey to school.”
Walking to school automatically adds more physical activity to a child’s daily schedule, and more physical activity may correspond with “increased metabolism, improved cardiorespiratory fitness, and lower weight and BMI.”
If walking to school isn’t an option for your child, try to incorporate an after-dinner family walk three-to-five days a week.
For other ways to help support your child’s health, try supplements from Rainbow Light, Pharmax, and Systemic Formulas.
Rainbow Light is dedicated to creating natural, food-based supplements, while promoting sustainable practices for planetary health and contributing to the fight against global malnutrition. Rainbow Light can help you support your children’s overall health, with supplements like Kid’s One Food-Based Multivitamin, which contains a complete profile of vital nutrients to support brain, bone, heart, eye, and immune health. For older kids, try either the Teen Girl’s Vibrance Multivitamin or Teen Boy’s Vibrance Multivitamin, each made with fruits, vegetables, and probiotics to support young women’s and young men’s health.
Backed by fifteen years of trials and research, Pharmax uses science to create high-quality products, Pharmax provides high-quality, professional-grade products that help support and maintain your health. For kids, try their HLC Child Probiotic, a supplement that contains a unique combination of probiotics that help maintain a child’s healthy gut flora. For younger children, try HLC Neonate Probiotic Powder, which supports the optimal gut health of children ages one to four.
Systemic Formulas create synergistically formulated herbal blends to support health and wellbeing. For kids, try their Kids Play Tuff Play Essential Immune Boost, which contains vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D3 – along with a proprietary liquid blend – to help support children’s healthy immune function. Or try their Kids Play Fun Play Multi-Vitamin Mineral Liquid, which provides a nutritionally balanced formula of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and botanicals to support children’s everyday health and wellness.
Being more active is important for all of us, no matter our age. Try incorporating walking or other physical activities into your daily routine and see if they support overall feelings of health for you and your children.