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Importance of Healthy Lifestyle in Mental Growth of Children

The early childhood years are highly crucial for mental, physical, intellectual & socio-emotional development. Multiple factors contribute to enhance the mental growth in children; one such important factor is maintaining healthy lifestyle. It significantly improves the mental caliber including cognitive potential and neural mechanism of learning. 

Here is an insight into how healthy lifestyle helps in mental growth of children:

  • Rich Nutrition - Encourage your children to consume food which provides high nutritional value. Nutrient-dense foods offer all the vital vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, etc. which are important for optimal functioning of the body and mind. It helps build high energy levels, strengthen the immune system and promote brain & neurocognitive development. Also, make sure children drink adequate amount of water per day.
  • Exercise - Indulging in exercise or some physical activity promotes physical as well as mental growth. Outdoor or extra-curricular activities, dance, sports, etc. are recreational ways to elevate the psychological health, memory & retention power, confidence, positive integration of thoughts and cognitive skills in children. 
  • Sound Sleep - Sound sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. During sleep, our body relaxes and functions in a way which may help to stimulate motor skills, concentration, emotional regulation and overall mental health of children. Therefore, sleeping for approximately 9-10 hours is quite necessary for children. 
Founded in 1964, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas is an organization that has been curating clubs & programs to help young people enhance their social, physical and academic proficiency. Our programs are packed with activities which promote positive behaviors, good character & citizenship, healthy lifestyle, academia and help children grow into well rounded personalities. 

Healthy Lifestyle Programs For Children:

All Stars (Age 6-18): An organized league sport and fitness program for flag football, basketball and dance teams for youth

SMART Girls (Age 8-18): Helps girls to develop healthy attitudes & positive relationships with peers and adults; conducts dynamic sessions, participatory activities, field trips and many more

Triple Play (Age 6-18): A comprehensive health and wellness program which stresses upon the significance of physical activity and proper nutrition.

These are some Healthy Lifestyle Programs which provide a healthy atmosphere for youth to nourish their mental & physical wellbeing. To know more about healthy lifestyle programs for kids, visit www.bgctx.org  

You can also visit us at 703 N 8th St. Killeen, TX – 76541 or call at (254) 699 - 5808 for further queries.

Need For Healthy Lifestyle Choices For Kids

Healthy lifestyle habits are the backbone of an active and disease-free body. The need for healthy lifestyle habits is at an all-time high due to the lifestyle changes brought about by modern-day living and restricted outdoor movement due to pandemic.

Here are some ways in which healthy lifestyle choices affect children and why they need to adopt them:

  • Maintain Healthy Weight: Being conscious of lifestyle habits contribute towards maintaining healthy weight as kids are careful about the kind and quantity of food they ingest. Healthy food choices include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, milk, meats, fish, poultry, nuts, eggs, etc. as opposed to unhealthy ones like fried foods, buttery foods, sweet foods and more.
  • Physical Benefits: Being active offers a number of physical benefits to the body such as better lung and heart strength, more flexibility and endurance, protection from diseases, etc. Some forms of physical activity that can be adopted for a healthy lifestyle are walking, running, jogging, swimming, stretching, yoga, Pilates, etc.
  • Mind Health: Lifestyle choices directly impact the state of mind and the emotions ensuing from it. A happy mind more often than not resides in a happy and healthy body. Eating well, working out, drinking enough water and sleeping well affect our mood and keep psychological conditions like depression and anxiety at bay.
  • Stress Management: Those who adopt healthy lifestyle habits have better capacity to cope with life and work stressors. They are likely to make healthy social connections with others and are better equipped to handle stressful situations with tools like exercise, deep breathing, meditation, yoga and so on. They experience less mental decline and have stronger immune systems.
  • More Energy: Good nutrition, enough rest and physical activity increase the body’s overall health and energy levels. One feels active, light and less lethargic as there are fewer pains, aches and higher energy levels. Diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, etc. are also kept at bay.
  • Save Money: A healthy lifestyle is much cheaper than an unhealthy one in the long run as one spends less on unhealthy foods and drinks and also prevents diseases caused by the same. This translates into fewer expenses on medicines and treatments for physical and emotional health issues like obesity, depression, eating disorders and so on.
  • Good For The Environment: An intrinsic part of a healthy lifestyle is making good food choices i.e. opting for organic and unprocessed foods. Eating unprocessed foods reduces greenhouse gas emissions, increases biodiversity, reduces water scarcity and prevents deforestation.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas organize an array of after-school activities for promoting healthy lifestyle among kids in Killeen, TX.  To know more about need for healthy lifestyle choices, visit 703 N. 8th Street, Killeen, TX - 76541. You can also call at (254) 699 – 5808.

Impacts Of Healthy Lifestyle On Academic Performance Of Kids

Nutrition, physical activity, less screen time and good sleep are the pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Implementing each of these in the daily life of children can bring about a positive shift in their academic performance. As per a study published in “International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health”, (Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 243), a direct link has been established between lifestyle changes and an upward trend in cognitive control and academic performance in high school students.

Let us further elaborate this by looking at the ways in which a healthy lifestyle impacts the academic performance of kids:

  • Brain Function: The brains of children who eat a balanced diet comprising of all essential nutrients are likely to perform to a higher capacity. Deficiencies in iron, zinc, vitamin B, C, A,  calcium, folate, iodine and other vitamins or minerals lead to lower dopamine transmission in kids, impaired mental concentration and inhibited cognitive capabilities.
  • Behavior: Children with a healthy lifestyle are willing to learn and have higher attendance at school. Malnutrition, high sugar consumption, junk food and other poor habits breed behavior problems in kids that affect their willingness to go to school and learn. For kids to exhibit their best behavior they should sleep on time, be physically active, and eat required amounts of protein, fat, complex carbohydrates and fiber.
  • Physical Activity: Children who are physically active at school and at home have higher chances of performing well in academics as compared to their peers with sluggish lifestyles. Active students usually have better memory and concentration, lower dropout rates and less disciplinary issues, which result in better academic performance.
  • Sleep: Consistent sound sleep is critical to a child’s academic performance. Sleep disturbances and inconsistencies affect student’s mood and well-being. Students thrive academically when their brains are well rested; they have better concentration, more retention/grasping power and higher energy levels throughout the day.
  • Screen Time: Limited screen time is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle these days; its benefits are better sleep, lower BMI and less aggression. These benefits are directly linked to better academic performance and completion of homework. As per the latest recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), screen time of children aged 2 to 5 years should be limited to one hour per day and consistent limits should be set for older kids (6 and up).
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas offer a variety of programs to help kids in maintain a healthy lifestyle.  The programs organized by the clubs include ‘ALL STARS’, ‘Passport to Manhood’, ‘SMART Girls’, ‘SMART Moves’, etc. The activities help kids in understanding the importance of a healthy lifestyle and improving physical activity. To know more about impacts of healthy lifestyle on academic performance of kids, visit 703 N. 8th Street, Killeen, TX – 76541. You can also call at (254) 699 – 5808.

How To Teach Healthy Habits To Kids?

Home is a child’s first school where some of the most important life lessons are taught; one of them being healthy habits. Teaching a child about healthy habits helps in building a strong foundation for his healthy life. These habits positively impact a child’s physical, emotional, and mental health.

Some ways to teach healthy habits to children are:

  • Teaching Good Manners: Kids should be taught the importance of good manners when dealing with family members, peers, and even strangers. Examples of good manners for children are saying please, thank you, apologizing, expressing other meaningful gestures, etc.
  • Limit Screen Time: By limiting screen time, children get more time for other activities that may be beneficial for their health. They also interact more with those around them (family members, neighbors, and other children) and pay adequate attention to hobbies.
  • Smart Snacking: Introduce the child to the concept of smart-snacking early in life. It will help him develop a positive relationship with food. Smart foods can be introduced to a child by involving him in the process of listing down healthy snack options while making grocery list.
  • Good Eating Habits: Teach the child about the basics of eating like chewing the food properly. Also emphasize on the importance of breakfast, drinking enough water, and looking at labels before purchasing packaged food.
  • Physical Activities: Children are more encouraged to stay physically active if the elders in their house practice the same. Some activities that a child can practice for healthy living are swimming, hiking, running, cycling, or simply walking in a nearby park.
  • Read Daily: Teaching kids to read from an early age exposes them to a variety of benefits such as enhanced vocabulary, better language development, concentration, exposure to a wide range of information, etc. Reading broadens a child’s mental horizons and encourages him to perceive the world from different perspectives.
  • Spend Time With Friends: Children, who spend more time with friends, grow into confident and happier individuals. Encourage the child to socialize with other kids in parks, after-school clubs, libraries, etc. This will instill valuable and healthy social skills like cooperation, problem-solving, and communication.
  • Power Of Positivity: Teaching kids about the art of staying positive under all circumstances makes him resilient in the face of challenges at school, out of school, and at the workplace as adults. Some things you can teach your child to foster positivity are the use of positive affirmations, kindness meditation, helping others, writing a gratitude journal, etc.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas offer various clubs and programs to teach healthy habits to kids. The clubs organize various activities that develop healthy habits in children. For more details on ways to teach healthy habits to kids, visit 304 W Ave B, Killeen, TX – 76541. You can also call at (254) 699 – 5808.

Healthy Habits For Mental Growth

Mental growth is an integral part of a child’s development. The daily habits of a kid greatly influence the mental growth; so adopting habits like exercising, socializing, learning new things, etc. can help him in following the normal graph of growth. It is important to inculcate these habits in children at an early age for their proper growth and development.

Following are some healthy habits that have shown to benefit a kid’s mental growth:

  • Exercising: It is recommended that kids should exercise for 30 to 60 minutes daily for unaltered mental growth. Exercise reduces stress levels, improves the quality of sleep and elevates mood which positively impacts the health of brain which governs mental growth. Also, exercise improves brain tissue health by increasing blood flow to it, decreasing blood pressure and reducing the chances of mental injury caused by cholesterol build up.  
  • A Healthy Diet: A healthy diet prevents cognitive decline. So, include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein from legumes & healthy unsaturated fats in the diet of your kids while avoiding sugar and simple carbs. It is also advised that children should drink ample amount of water daily for better memory, concentration and mental agility.
  • Self-Care And Stress Management: Stress is associated with increased level of a hormone called cortisol. In the long run, high cortisol levels may result in memory problems. So, it is important for children to keep a check on stress by getting appropriate hours of sleep and engaging in stress management activities like meditation or yoga. Going for a stroll with a pet, reading a book or magazine, deep breathing exercises, etc. can also help.
  • Learning: Learning new skills, language or art stimulate the mind which improves the thinking skills. Such classes or clubs are also a good platform for socializing and building interactions. It helps children in forming an emotional bond with their peers as they help each other in the process of learning. Socializing and companionship establish emotional well-being among kids which is pivotal for the mental growth.
  • Play Challenging Games: Motivate children to play games such as Sudoku, chess, scrabble, crosswords, puzzles and video games that boost mental health significantly. Research shows that kids who play mentally stimulating games regularly show signs of higher memory retention. These games improve concentration, adaptation to new situations and task-switching abilities.
We, at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas, offer a wide range of programs to promote healthy lifestyle among kids aged between 6-18 years. To enroll your child at the club, call at (254) 699 –5808 or visit 304 W Ave B, Killeen, TX – 76541.