The way your child holds onto his/her pencil can convey a lot more than his/her ability to write well or finish homework. This small act of gripping conveys a large chunk of information regarding your child’s future health. Parents duly focus on a nutritional diet and daily activity for their children but sometimes forego the fact that muscle strength is an equally important factor in a child’s development. Basically, every kid loves to play out in the open amidst green trees, numerous peers and chirping birds. It is us, who have misdirected our younger generation to depend on electronic gadgets and indoor activities to occupy themselves due to our heavy workloads, restricted spaces and our obsession with smartphones. Only when we understand that muscle strength forms the basis for easy movement of our children helping them to play around and socialize with others, our focus will shift towards nurturing kids who are physically strong too.
Slipping Out of Grip
Schools might be the place where your kid first learns to write, but home is where he/she holds the pencil initially. Sitting at the table busy keying in your work one day you might notice your 2-year-old baby scribbling her way through the walls of your home. Don’t you think this looks lovelier than your wall patterns or paintings? This is when you realize that your little one is growing up!
The widespread prevalence of obesity emphasizes the fact that today’s generation kids are at an increased risk of cardiovascular problems and diabetes. Observing the way he/she holds the pencil conveys plenty of inside information. A new study shows that weak grip strength in children are clear indications of impending health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. This study followed-up on children from their 4th grade through their 5th grade. These kids underwent a grip-strength test using an instrument known as the handgrip dynamometer from which researchers identified that 27.9% of boys and around 20% of the girls were categorized into the ‘weak grip strength’ category. Students falling under this category were three times likelier to suffer from failing health or maintain poor health compared to other kids.
Despite considering other factors such as lean mass, cardiorespiratory fitness, blood pressure, fasting blood lipids and blood sugar levels, the researchers could still establish a strong link between grip strength and body health. On the positive note, knowing that our child has a weak grip strength can be used positively by taking extra care on the kid, nurturing him/her with nutritious lifestyle practices and strengthening body muscles. All that it takes is a simple, non-invasive test by the pediatrician to help us groom our children into healthier adults.
‘Sink’chronized Muscle Strength
There are a group of people who argue that children these days are not in dire need of muscle strength as they spend less time outdoors and more time indoors. While the fact remains true, the core of the problem needs to be addressed failing which a child’s physical fitness and ability hangs in the air. The need for muscle mass might seem unnecessary presently but as children grow up, they do need it to withstand the numerous chores and activities every person’s body is subjected to day in and day out.
Encourage kids to participate in muscle strengthening activities such as cycling, dancing, weight training, swimming, compete with your kids doing sit-ups/push-ups and help them get their daily required 60 minutes of activity by helping them play out with friends. Don’t make them sit with a smartphone only because you aren’t free to take them to the ground. They might seem healthy and fine presently, but all these are sure to have an impact later in life. Despite these, if you still feel that your child needs a diet that can boost her nutritional quotient, please get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.