Childcare expert Dr. Andyda Meliala said there are four pillars of health that parents must pay attention to maintaining a child’s immune system.
“The four pillars of health that are important to note for maintaining endurance are sleep, intelligence or health of mind, eating or good intake, and exercise or physical activity,” Andyda said in a written statement in Jakarta, Sunday (10/27).
For physical activity in children aged 5-17 years, it should be focused on three things namely aerobics, muscle strengthening, and bone strengthening. Andyda gave examples of aerobic activities are running, jumping, and dancing. Aerobic activity can improve cardiorespiratory fitness. While the activity for muscle strength is in the game by using a tool to play, pull, and climb trees.
While sports for bone strength usually comes from pushing activities such as running, jumping rope, basketball, and tennis.
“The physical activity makes antibodies or red blood cells to circulate faster, so they can detect disease early. Not only that, a brief increase in body temperature during and shortly after this activity can also prevent bacterial growth,” he said.
The increase in temperature can help the body fight infection better. In addition to these benefits, physical activity can trigger brain growth and endorphin expenditure, or what is called the happiness hormone.
To encourage children to undergo optimal physical activity in order to maintain their health, Andyda suggests making it a lifestyle.
“Encourage discussion with children to find out what activities can be done every day. The point is there must be strong support for the ecosystem for physical activity of children, both at home, at school, and anywhere,” said the doctor who graduated from Gadjah Mada University.
The World Health Organization recommends that children aged 5-17 years old for at least 60 minutes a day and three times a week for physical activities.