Why Children Need Physical Activity
In today’s highly technologically driven society, children can travel the world from their comfy chair at home, and the physical body remains a passive participant in this dynamic travel. Children used to run, literally, from one game to another in the safety of their neighborhoods until parents called them in at dusk.
Exercise was a natural part of growing up. Playing foursquare, running to your friend’s house down the street, endless rounds of tag, riding bikes and the list goes on. Now physical movement is replaced by long hours on the couch or in a chair, still filled with lots of fun games and learning activities, but oftentimes at the loss of the former.
Yet physical exercise remains important to health.
So what are a few compelling reasons to take charge and bring physical fitness into the lifestyle of your family?
First, exercise improves sleep, not only increasing the hours of slumber, but also the quality. Meaning the child will have more solid energy on every level for their day, for learning and increasing their skills.
Second, muscles, joints, motors skills and all parts of a child’s growing body are strengthened with physical activity. Digestive functions are helped and children who exercise are more likely to have balanced metabolism. This means they will less likely have sugar highs and lows which lead to eating simple sugars. What a great remedy for trying to get your kids to eat healthy, encourage them to play!
Along these lines, serotonin and beta endorphin levels are held more constant, the exercise sparks release of these mood stabilizing brain chemicals. Not only are depression and anxiety thwarted, but the opposite happens, these chemicals are the ‘happy, feel good,’ ones that increase those cute smiles and pleasant dispositions.
Third, just as with adults, the metabolizing power of exercise converts food into energy, and keeps children within the healthy weight and proportion for their individual body types.
Fourth, exercise almost always contains a social factor, creating a good environment for children to learn how to relate to others, navigate listening and caring for others, while also expressing themselves, all while having fun!
All of these help one of the most important qualities we want in our children, strong self esteem and personal image.
In Good Health,