Keeping your child fit during summer break with martial arts

Approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents in the U.S. are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since the rate of obesity among young people continues to grow, it is critical for parents to keep their children fit and healthy during summer break. These kids won't get to go to gym class every day and will need other ways to stay in shape. A fun and unique way to keep children fit is to sign them up for martial arts training. Whether it's taekwondo or karate, martial arts can definitely keep your child in peak shape. Here are three exercise benefits of martial arts:

Improved heart health
Although heart disease doesn't affect a high number of children, it is a leading cause of death among adults. According to the Texas Heart Institute, controlling risk factors of heart disease, including high blood pressure and obesity, during childhood will decrease your kid's chance of developing cardiovascular disease in adulthood. An effective way to reduce these risk factors is to exercise on a regular basis. Physical activity helps the heart pump blood through the body more efficiently, which keeps blood pressure under control, according to Group Health Cooperative. Martial arts is a great exercise for the heart because it forces it to work hard, improving its strength over time.

Weight loss
If your child is overweight, martial arts can help him or her trim down over summer break. Because the exercise features several different movements and drills, your child can burn a lot of calories. According to the United States American Jiu-Jitsu Federation, one hour of martial arts can burn up to 600 calories. If you feed your child a healthy diet and have him or her participate in martial arts training a few times a week, he or she can lose weight and become healthier.

Increased strength
Martial arts will also increase your child's muscle strength and improve musculoskeletal health, which will help him or her avoid injuries while engaging in physical activities. If your child improves his or her strength, he or she will also be less likely to experience aches and pains when he or she gets older.

If you enroll your child in martial arts classes, he or she will receive great exercise and may even make some new friends along the way. Martial arts may be a challenge at first, but your child will get the hang of the sport and enjoy it.