People talk about leading a healthy lifestyle, however, it seems that many people do not think that it applies to children. Ms. Rakefet Arielli, a clinical dietitian in our Heidi Rothberg Sports Medicine Center, says that the life expectancy of the children of today will be five years lower than that of their parents since most children are not eating healthy and are not exercising enough.
Rakefet explains, “This stems from [children] having too much screen time and not being active.” Active children will be stronger, they will have healthier bones and stronger muscles. They have the opportunity to reach their genetic growth potential and they will be less likely to suffer from obesity or metabolic diseases (depending on their level of activity).
“I hear about people in their 30’s who want to turn back the clock and fix whatever they did not do well in their childhood. Unfortunately, some things cannot be fixed, such as bone development or muscle mass. It is not easy to explain to a 10 year old that his actions will cause him health problems when he’s older. Parents need to serve as an example for children– teach them the importance of exercise and nutrition,” says Rakefet.
Our bodies were meant to be in motion and sport is important for every child at every age (taking into consideration each child’s abilities). Rakefet recommends that parents go out and play ball or run around with their kids. Parents should encourage children to get involved in physical activities and challenge children physically. The children will learn to deal with success and failure, improve their social interactions and will be healthier and stronger.
Please read this article (in Hebrew) for more details.