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FIT Connection for Kids: Recharge

How do rest and relaxation tie in with being fit?
By Brenda Conaway
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD

mom and kids reading by a tree What happens when your iPod or a cell phone gets low on power? You recharge it!

Your body needs to RECHARGE, too. But you can't plug in your body to get more power. You recharge it with rest and healthy relaxation.

How RECHARGE Fits Into the FIT Platform

Sleep is really important for good health. It affects what and how much you eat. It affects your energy level. And it affects your emotions. Here is why taking time to RECHARGE matters to the other parts of the FIT Platform.

You need to rest and RECHARGE to have energy to MOVE your body every day. Ever notice how hard it is to get up and get dressed in the morning when you don't get a good night's sleep? And when you don't sleep well for several days, it's harder to move all day long. The more tired you are, the less energy you have to be active. And if you don't get enough exercise, you can get more stressed out. Then that can make it harder to sleep. Whew!

Watching too much TV can be a problem, too. It's not really relaxing because your brain is still working. "Screen time -- and that includes TV, computer, even texting -- takes up all our down time," says David Ermer, MD. He's a child psychiatrist with Sanford Health. "It's a very unhealthy activity as far as exercise goes, and even emotional well-being." He means that when you watch a lot of TV, you don't have time to play and have fun with your friends. Playing with friends is a healthy way to relax. So are singing and dancing and laughing.

Too little time for RECHARGE can make you want more FOOD. When you don't get good sleep, it affects how much you want to eat. Studies of adults have shown that not enough sleep can mess with chemicals (hormones called leptin and ghrelin) in your body -- even after just one night. If these chemicals are out of whack, you'll feel hungrier, and junk foods that aren't healthy for you will look really good.

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