Sports- Fostering Lifelong Health in Kids

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https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/children-and-screen-time#:~:text=The%20American%20Academy%20of%20Pediatrics,or%20two%20hours%20a%20day.

As a father, sports is something I have exposed my kids to from an early age. We played sports, watched professional sports and analyzed plays and strategy. Socializing kids into sports is a great idea, and helps with lifetime fitness and health.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that kids should have no more than 1-2 hours of screen time a day. Many kids have too many unhealthy hours on a screen and the lack of physical activity is setting them up for a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy habits. Sports practice from an early age sets kids up for success in many avenues in life.

The COVID-19 pandemic locked down many children, and we need to return to healthy behaviors. Excessive screen time, defined as being more than 2-hours daily for kids can promote obesity and a general lack of fitness.

Sports is a great way for kids and people of all ages to be healthy and active. Screen time has ticked up since the pandemic, and weight gain is noticeable in the population.

Screen time should not be the default. Consider exposing your child to a variety of sports and letting them choose one per season. Sports was a part of my upbringing as a child and it helped me make friends, be fit and accept exercise and fitness as a part of everyday life. Excessive screen time also socially isolates kids, which is unhealthy and sports surrounds them with friends and social situations. It's a great way to learn and mature as a growing child.

It is essential to set kids up for success in fitness and health from an early age. I suggest martial arts for discipline, basketball for endurance and track and field in the Spring for cardiovascular fitness. Many leagues exist in community organizations, schools, dojos and even at home among friends. The key is to begin early around 5-years old.



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