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Importance of Physical Activity in Children

Keeping your child physically fit has become extremely important in the current Pandemic situation. We spoke to MannyBee – professional footballers and fitness trainers on why you should encourage your child to engage in regular physical activity.

1. Access to a wider variety of foods – In sight, In Mind

We all remember this theory, out of sight out of mind! However, in the current scenario, you just can’t seem to escape all the food and the easy access to it.

Stocking of supplies has become a trend now and even though most households did it anyway, it is more prevalent now than ever before. With a wide variety of food options in the pantry, the kids are bound to pounce into the pantry at every chance they get and there’s no second-guessing in what they will be pouncing for! I’m sure it’s not the veggies and fruits!

2. Boredom Eating – Rise in Bingeing

‘I am bored’. ‘I have nothing to do’.  ‘Why can’t I meet my friends’?

With children being locked indoors and anxious about their environment, they are bound to look for comfort. Similar to adults, they immediately resort to television to pass their time or find comfort in and research suggests that this generally leads to the habit of bingeing or over-eating. Once again, more often than not, this bingeing is sugary snacks and packaged products.  And we all know what happens when we go down that road.

3. Lack of Movement – Reduced NEAT

With everything going digital, children too are spending an increased amount of time in front of a laptop or computer screen for school, assignments & even virtual birthday parties and get- togethers. Compare this to their normal school routine where there would be walks to the classroom, recess time, a swim in the pool or even the physical activity workouts at school.  The lack of movement caused by the ‘digital world’ has contributed to a substantial decrease in NEAT- Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.

NEAT makes up 15% of the total daily energy expenditure or in simple terms, 15% of the total calories burned daily. When kids aren’t burning these calories like they did on a normal day and with the increased consumption of food, weight gain is the most common outcome, which could very easily creep its way into becoming childhood obesity.

4. Improved Confidence

Just like completing a given task gives us a sense of accomplishment, similarly, exercising and being able to exercise boosts a child’s confidence – helping him/her approach other aspects of their lives with the same vigor and determination. Being fit and active will also help them in a smoother transition back to their original schedule/ lifestyle once things go back to being normal.

5. Improved Concentration Levels.

Exercising releases certain hormones that help stimulate a child’s mind in a positive way.  Regular exercise releases Endorphins – one of the many ‘happy hormones’ that relieve stress, resulting in increased concentration levels. Happier children are more proactive and complete a given task much more efficiently. 

It is our duty as adults and mostly as parents to help our children embrace physical fitness as a way of life and not just a mere chore!

About the Pro:

MannyBee comprises professional footballer duo – Abeer Arsiwala and Manuel D’souza. Having played for team India on many football tournaments, the duo now provide strength and conditioning training to their clients. Their mission is simple – they want to change one habit, one mindset and one individual at a time to make the world a healthier place with no myths and fad diets.