After school program activities such as art, gymnastics, and playtime give young children a chance to do something different from their routines at home and school. Some of the most important after school activities offered by child care centers are those promoting child health and fitness. Children and adults don’t get enough exercise either at home or school. Daycares that focus on fitness and health goals can play an important part in your child’s life.
An unhealthy lifestyle leads to obesity
It’s no secret that the U.S. is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. There are many reasons for this, but an unhealthy diet and lifestyle are the primary causes. Junk food, sugary drinks and too much tv all play a part. When you add up the hours that children spend watching tv, playing video games, and on the computer, they pend on average seven and a half hours each day staring at a computer screen.
The results of this lack of physical activity are painful obvious. Not just obesity but related diseases like diabetes are on the rise.
Lack of exercise in kids and adults
Neither children not adults get enough exercise. It’s not really the kids’ fault – most people live too far away from playgrounds and fitness centers for a daily visit. Only one-fifth of homes have a park nearby, within a half mile, where the kids can go to play. All of this means that only one child out of three engages in physical activity each day.
Adults do no better, and less than 5% engage in the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Only one third engage in the recommended amount of physical activity each week. What they don’t realize is that they are setting a very bad example for the kids.
After school activities include playtime
After school activities offer a way out of this impasse, with games and physical activity like gymnastics classes and dancing. After school child care centers begin with a small snack and a rest. There may be time for art and even music classes. The kids are then ready for some exercise to tire them out for bedtime.
With all the fun activities, after school programs may be the best part of your kid’s day.
After school activities offer a chance to try new things, make new friends and to learn a healthy lifestyle. And perhaps, once the kids discover the joys of a healthy lifestyle with plenty of physical activity and games, they can be a good influence on their parents!