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    Physical Activity


    Childhood is an important time to establish good exercise habits. More than one-third of young people in grades nine through 12 do not regularly engage in vigorous, intense physical activity. Daily participation in high school physical education classes has dropped dramatically.

    Inactive children are more likely to become inactive adults, and these children weigh more than active children of the same height. On average, today's children are slower and weaker than children were years ago, due to the increased hours spent in sedentary activities such as TV and video games.

    Benefits of Exercise

    For babies and toddlers, exercise helps develop muscle strength, coordination, balance and reflexes. Regular physical activity is important for the development of healthy bones, muscles and joints, and it builds lean muscle and reduces fat. It also substantially reduces the risk of dying of coronary heart disease, the nation's leading cause of death, and decreases the risk for stroke, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercise is known to help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, and through its effect on mental health, may increase a child's capacity for learning.

    Ensuring that your child gets a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day will go a long way to promote good health and instill healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

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