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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

LuxuryTravelDocs' Five-Part Series about the Benefits of Traveling with your Children! Part IV: Health

Last time we saw how planning makes opportunities for a family vacation to be educational and beneficial for your children!

Combat inactivity when planning vacation and your children will benefit!

Part IV: Health

LTD has reminded our readers on countless occasions that physical activity is important for all of us, but it is especially important for our growing children!  In children physical activity is necessary for a strong body, including muscles and bones. Getting the blood pumping throughout the body can also help with mood and emotional health. Use the opportunities that nature provides, get outside and get moving with your children. Physical activity will not only benefit your body, but also your child’s growing body.

Physical activity will not only benefit your body, but also your child’s growing body. Credit Pexels

It is recommended by the American Heart Association that:

All children age 2 and older participate in at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity physical activities every day that are developmentally appropriate and varied.

If your child or children do not have a full 60 minute activity break each day, try to provide at least two 30 minute periods or four 15 minute periods in which they can engage in vigorous activities appropriate to their age, gender and stage of physical and emotional development.

According to a 2016 study, only 21.6% of 6 to 19-year-old children and adolescents in the United States attained 60 or more minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on at least 5 days per week.

Of course this activity does not only improve their physical health, but stimulates the PLAY and SEEKING systems crucial for brain development as discussed in our first entry of this series.  This is supported by data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Students who are physically active tend to have better grades, school attendance, cognitive performance (e.g., memory), and classroom behaviors (e.g., on-task behavior).
  • Higher physical activity and physical fitness levels are associated with improved cognitive performance (e.g., concentration, memory) among students.

The benefit to your child's physical well being is well known.  Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence is important for promoting lifelong health and well-being and preventing various health conditions. Here are some examples:

  • Children’s muscles need to be used to grow and become stronger 
  • Aerobic exercise helps the heart muscle to become and stay strong. 
  • A child's bones are not fully developed until the late teen years. Bone strength is built when bones are forced to bear weight and work against gravity and bone strength established at a young age is beneficial to you throughout your entire life.

Your children's health one of the most important gifts you can give them!  Family vacations offer many opportunities to make physical activity fun for them!  After the adults decide on the vacation budget and a couple of trip ideas, it's a good time to get the kids involved. Older kids might want to vote on the list of possible trips, while younger kids will appreciate seeing photos of where you've decided to go and all the fun stuff to do there.

Next time:  Our most emotional and final entry of this five-part series.  What do we always wish we had more of?  TIME!

Remember, if you have questions related to your health, always consult your doctor or medical professional.  The information presented here is informative only and is not medical advice. 

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