Many children these days do not engage in regular physical activity. This is a great pity as it causes them to miss out on many important benefits. There are many reasons why pediatricians recommend that children get at least an hour of physical exercise every day. Let us explore the various advantages of exercise to understand why parents should make it a top priority for their kids.
Exercise Helps in Maintaining a Healthy Weight
It is common knowledge that obesity is an epidemic in the United States. Unfortunately, children are heavily affected by it too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that children obesity rates these days have tripled since the 1970s. In fact, nearly 1 out of every 5 kids in the United States is currently obese.
The high childhood obesity rate is likely to due to a diet high in sugar and fat coupled with insufficient exercise. In light of this, exercise is more important now than ever for helping children to burn away extra calories and maintain a healthy weight.
Instilling a regular habit of exercise in young children will ensure they remain physical fit long into their adulthood. It will also protect them from obesity-related illnesses later on, such as heart disease or liver disease.
Exercise Improves General Behavior
Physical activity releases endorphins in the brain that improve mood and cognitive ability. This means that exercise can make children feel happier or at least reduce their daily stress. Unsurprisingly, children in a better mood tend to be more cooperative. Studies have shown that exercise causes kids with behavioral issues to behave better in a classroom setting. It helps to keep them focused in class and reduces adverse behavior. This not only benefits the kids, it also benefits their parents and teachers.
Exercise Helps Academic Performance
Research has shown that children who engage in regular physical exercise perform better academically than their peers who do not. This is because exercise promotes better memory and concentration.
Studies have also shown that certain areas of the brain responsible for memory are greater in volume for people who exercise regularly. This means that exercise is capable of physically altering our brains for the better. Findings like this have especially important implications for children as they suggest that children need regular exercise for healthy brain development. An active lifestyle can literally make them smarter. To support your child’s learning and brain development, regular exercise is crucial.
Exercise is Great for Overall Development
Regular exercise comes with a host of physical, mental and emotional benefits for children. Physically, it helps them to build strength, coordination, flexibility, agility and balance. It even helps in boosting their immune system which will protect them from contracting common diseases like the flu. Through team sports like basketball and soccer, kids also develop essential social skills that will aid them their whole life. Since regular exercise enhances the physical abilities of children, it will even enhance their self-confidence.
To ensure that children thrive physically, mentally and emotionally, it is crucial that parents encourage the habit of engaging in regular exercise.