By Gopi Rao, CYT 500
Can yoga help obese children? Childhood obesity is a condition that is becoming far too common. Parents and healthcare practitioners often wonder what can be done to alleviate the issue. Yoga for obese children could be a natural starting point when facing the problem. It is widely known that moderate exercise and healthy eating habits are just a few of the ways the childhood obesity can be treated, or better yet, prevented. However, overweight children might not have the strength or energy levels needed for many different types of exercise. Yoga, however, can be used to help kids get up and start moving.
It is widely known that obesity can cause diabetes and heart disease. It can also contribute to physical stress on the body as well as mental and emotional stress.
Using Yoga as an exercise regime for obese children can provide the child with a sense of focus and accomplishment. Learning the poses and coordinating the breathing techniques can help to instill self-confidence as well. Self-confidence is often a missing component for overweight children and restoring it might help them make better decisions in regards to food, exercise and healthy living choices.
Sports and exercise can help kids, yet obese kids might not be able to compete with other kids and feel comfortable at the same time. That’s yet another reason that incorporating Yoga can be a positive contribution. Yoga is a way for children to use exercise as a tool to help them instead of seeing it as a competition with their peers. It can be taught to them in a comfortable and non-judgmental environment so that they associate positive feelings with Yoga practice.
One of the best things about Yoga for obese children is the fact that it can be taught to all age levels. It can help to restore balance (both physical and emotional) as well as provide a calming sense of security. Incorporating Yoga into a child’s schedule can be a building block in which to add other healthy lifestyle changes. The pride and sense of accomplishment an overweight child can feel after finishing a Yoga session might just go a long way toward helping parents and healthcare practitioners reduce the effects of childhood obesity and the many health issues that are associated with it.
Obesity in children has sprung forth in computerized societies. This may not be the entire source of the problem, but computers and video games have taken the place of many outdoor activities. Yoga for children is a logical choice for parents and educators.
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