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5 After School Activities to Keep Your Kids Healthy and Fit

Getting your child involved in after school activities is a great way to get her away from the television and help her develop critical social skills. Studies show that children who participated in after school activities performed better in school and were less likely to use drugs and alcohol or experience behavioral problems. Extracurricular activities also provide a great opportunity for your child to exercise.
When choosing extracurriculars for your child, it's important to find activities that encourage her to be an active and fit individual. Here is a list of activities that will help improve your child's level of physical fitness and put her on the path to being a happy and healthy adult.
1. Dance
Dance is a fun way to get your child's body moving and their heart pumping. Dance helps develop coordination, flexibility, stamina and endurance. In addition to all its physical benefits, dance provides children with a creative outlet to express themselves. There are so many different genres and types of dance, that you're bound to find one that suits your child.
2. Marital Arts
Martial arts classes are great for kids of all ages. Marital arts will give your child a total body workout. Some of the physical benefits include increased stamina, flexibility and strength. Students of the marital arts also learn the importance of self-control and self-discipline. Not only will marital arts improve your child's fitness, it will improve her self-esteem.
3. Swimming
Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that all people can partake in, regardless of their fitness level. Drop your kids off at the local pool for an hour every other day if you want to improve their fitness. Swimming is an excellent cardio activity that conditions the heart and improves the way the your body uses oxygen. Other physical benefits include improved flexiblity, strength and endurance. One of the best things about swimming is that it engages the whole body and gives you a great total body workout.
4. Soccer

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, and it offers one of the best aerobic workouts around. You spend an entire game sprinting up and down the field. Soccer helps expand aerobic capacity, improves muscle tone and increases endurance and flexibility. Your child will get the added benefit of playing on a team and learning how to work with others. Sign your kid up for outdoor team in the fall or an indoor team year round to reap all the health benefits that soccer has to offer.

5. Running

Most kids love to run around whenever they have the chance. Try signing your child up for an after school track team so they get the health benefits of running in a structured environment. Running is great for conditioning your heart and increasing aerobic capacity. Best of all, it doesn't require fancy equipment or a lot of skill.

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