Health is a feeling of physical and mental well being. A healthy child displays a tremendous zest for life. He is energetic and undaunted by the challenges that life places before him. There is an overwhelming need to explore the world around him or probe into the secrets of life. He cannot be still or listless. He is able to tuck into sumptuous meals or climb mountains with ease.
An unhealthy child on the other hand is constantly conscious of a feeling of helplessness. Life seems drab and dull and nothing interests him. Small tasks seem insurmountable and a challenge of any kind is daunting. He cannot and will not be able eat well or even enjoy the pleasure of others company. Physical ailments cloud his mind and he finds his existence burdensome. He is constantly irritable, unhappy and spreads unhappiness around him.
Good health is the gift of the Gods, but the gift has to be nurtured and protected against the onslaughts of the teeming diseases that seem to stalk mankind. The greatest safeguards against disease that man can deploy are good exercise and wholesome food. They are complementary and necessary adjuncts to the process of developing good health.
When we speak of good health, we are referring to both mental and physical health. Physical health is derived from regular exercise. Physical exercise tones up the muscles and improves blood circulation. It accelerates digestion of food and improves appetite. Yoga, Aerobics, gymnastics or sports of any kind promotes a feeling of mental and physical well being.
Exercise also contributes to mental well being. Games and sports provide the child with opportunities of interacting with his peers and learning the social skills required to make him a healthy, happy and well adjusted human being. The rough and tumble of games, makes him appreciate the importance of give and take. It helps him become a team player and also recognize that success and failure are facets of life and he must learn to take both in his stride.
The unhealthy child prefers to be a coach potato. Television, video games and computers have rob the child of a desire to play with his peers. Watching television is a passive activity that leaves no room for imagination. The play of light and sound from the television weakens their vision and disorients the brain. Energy is depleted and the child ceases to communicate effectively with the world. There is absolutely no interaction with their peers or family members.
Inactivity and ill health are a vicious cycle that needs to be broken. The lazy or even unhealthy child should be persuaded to leave the confines of the home and the television set and to venture out into parks and playgrounds. TV time, video games and computer addiction should be monitored. Children should be encouraged to participate in individual and team sports like skating, swimming, basketball, baseball etc. They should be made to appreciate that exercise rejuvenates the body and improves the body’s resistance to disease and keeps the person mentally active. Good exercise must be bulwarked with good eating habits.
Good food is food that is balanced and provides the body with the necessary nutrients. Junk foods like Pizza, burgers or oil rich and fat rich food tend to harm the body and increase the deposit of fat without adding to the health of the child. Good eating habits include eating nutritious and fiber rich food. Food should also be eaten as per a suitable time schedule. Eating at all times and at any time, any place also should be avoided.
Acquiring good eating habits is an uphill task for most children and they must be encouraged repeatedly until the habit is formed. Parents should ensure that the daily diet includes fibrous food that improves bowel movement. The intake of fat should be limited to 30 calories a day. Fruits, milk and vegetables should be part of the diet. Proteins and Carbohydrates should be taken in sufficient quantities to provide the required energy to the child.
Lack of exercise combined with intake of junk food is one of the major causes of obesity in children. Obesity leads to a number of health problems such as diabetes and blood pressure. Obese children are inactive children whose health is indifferent and are mentally and physically unable to cope with the stress and strain of life. They tend to be introverts who prefer passive activity, such as watching television. In company they are conscious of their weight and tend to be the butt of ridicule among their peers. They develop complexes and extremely unhappy children.
Parents should remember that a healthy child is a happy child. Children learn from their elders and parents should be role models for active lifestyles.
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Paul is Head of Training for a major UK Charitable Organisation with a wealth of experience in personal development, management development, e-learning and operational management. In addition to owning one of the UK's leading Ebook Provider www.pk-ebooks.co.uk Paul also owns www.help-your-child-learn.co.uk
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