Myth 11: You Don't Need to Take Gym Class
There are many misconceptions about proper nutrition and exercise. Nutritionists from the Pediatric Fitness Clinic explore different myths and misconceptions, the truth behind them, and offer suggestions for what you can do instead.
Myth: You don’t need to take gym class.
Truth: Everyone benefits from an exercise break, such as gym class. Studies have shown that kids who exercise before their most difficult classes, perform better in that class.
Some children do not see the benefits of gym class and believe they do not need to take it. Studies have shown that kids who exercise before their most difficult classes, perform better in that class. When you exercise, you are increasing blood flow to your brain and becoming more awake.
Others see the benefit and believe that is all the exercise they need. The Pediatric Fitness team encourages at least 60 minutes of exercise everyday. Some schools only provide gym class three days per week, leaving four days without activity. Therefore, gym class alone is not enough.
Try This Instead
- Ask your child how they feel about gym class. Sometimes they do not enjoy gym because they are intimidated, or believe it is a waste of time. Try to encourage a new perspective.
- Challenge your family to make exercise a part of everyday.
- Remind your child that they don't need to keep up with the "athlete" in class. Exercise is about doing the best that you can do.
- Take a step back and look at your daily routine and ask, "What can we do to increase our activity? Can you take the stairs today? What can we do instead of watching TV tonight? What time of day is best for a walk as a family? Can you walk or bike to or from school or work? Can you dance to music in your house?" So much of becoming healthy can be done without requiring a huge change in routine.
It can be hard to believe that finding time to exercise would be challenging for kids. But it's true. Extra-curricular activities, homework, and the lure of video games and TV can all interfere. Support your kids' efforts by making it a family affair. Take a walk after dinner together as a family. Plan day trips on the weekend to do things like hike in one of the local state or county parks. Ride your bike together. And, most important of all, be a role model. If your kids see you making it a priority, it will help them see that it is important and that sometimes even mom or dad have a tough time too.