Exercise not only fights obesity, but leads to children getting more rest

November 18, 2013

Children who exercise are more likely to sleep better, reducing chances of obesity.

Two recent studies point to reasons why parents should get their children interested in training at tae kwon do schools. Researchers at Temple University found that an improved sleep cycle can help kids fight obesity, while a survey released by the National Sleep Foundation revealed getting more exercise can make it easier to get rest at night.

Marital arts fights obesity
Everyone knows that a good sleep can lead to better health, but what’s new is that children can actually reduce the chances of becoming obese if they maintain a proper sleep cycle. The study, conducted by Chantelle Hart, associate professor of public health at Temple’s Center for Obesity Research and Education, evaluated 37 children ages 8 to 11 for three weeks, and nearly one-quarter were overweight or obese.

In week one, the children were asked to sleep their typical amount, while in the second week, half of the participants reduced their sleep time, and the other half did the opposite. During the week that children increased their sleep, they reported consuming an average of 134 fewer calories per day, weighing in at about a half-pound less.

  1. “Findings from this study suggest that enhancing school-age children’s sleep at night could have important implications for prevention and treatment of obesity,” said Hart. “The potential role of sleep should be further explored.”

Now where does tae kwon do come into play? Parents who get their children involved in rigorous activity are far more likely to see their kids get better sleep.

More exercise leads to a better sleep
Many parents are unsure how to get their children to sleep at night. They’ve tried everything: turning off the TV, putting password locks on the computer and making their kids read before bed. However, many of these strategies haven’t worked. This is when parents should look to enroll their children in tae kwon do schools. National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 Sleep in America study showed that regular exercise is key to a good night’s rest.

The research demonstrated that 67 percent to 56 percent of respondents who take part in vigorous, moderate and light exercises report their ability to sleep well, while only 39 percent of non-exercisers were able to say the same.

“While cause and effect can be tricky, I don’t think having good sleep necessarily compels us to exercise,” said Max Hirshkowitz, poll task force chair at National Sleep Foundation . “I think it is much more likely that exercising improves sleep. And good sleep is fundamental for good health, productivity, and happiness.”