Brittany Byma

Brittany Byma, LMT/CPT/Wellness Coach

First of all, we know physical activity is good for all of us. But did you know that under the age of six, children’s brains are operating on a subconscious level where they are developing how they are going to process emotions and form habits – either good or bad – for the rest of their lives?

So, if babies and toddlers are introduced at an early age to be active, outside and exploring, they are going to have natural stress relievers such as enjoying the outdoors when they are adults.

Introducing kids at any age to physical activity helps establish natural coping systems, teamwork, ethics, along with all the physiological benefits it provides.

Some physiological benefits include:

• Strengthens children’s bones, muscles, ligaments, hearts and lungs

• Improves children’s coordination, balance, posture, and flexibility. (actually decreasing the chance of injury when they are stronger and more flexible)

• Helps children stay at a healthy weight.

• Reduces children’s risk of getting heart disease, cancer, and type-2 diabetes later in life.

• Improved digestive system, which results in the body processing food efficiency.

• Lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.

• A better outlook on life.

• Academic performance.

• Improves attention and memory.

• Brain health reduces risk of depression.

Learning from their parents is key to developing a love for physical activity or even interest. Parents are a child’s biggest role model, don’t wait for tv, social media or others to influence them. It starts at home.

Here are some ways to incorporate being active as a family.

1. Hiking is a great way to get some exercise and explore nature as a family. We have lots of local choices for hiking such as Badger Mountain in Tri cities, Candy Mountain in Tri cities, and Cowiche Canyon in Yakima. All very beginner friendly hikes for kids of all ages.

2. Learn a new activity as a family such as skateboarding, fishing, swimming, martial arts, weightlifting, aerobics, yoga, golf, gardening, and more!

Participating in physical activity as a family also strengthens family bonds and improves the overall mood of both the parents and children.

The benefits even go as far as a better night’s sleep and improved performance at work and school.

Stay well.

Brittany Byma is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer, and Wellness Coach.

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