What are the Health Benefits of Active Kids?
The NHS suggests that children should partake in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least an hour per day. Most kids get the exercise they need throughout the weekdays at school, with P.E lessons, sports days, walking to and from school and playing outside with friends at lunchtime and morning/afternoon breaks throughout the day.
When it comes to the weekend or school holidays, the reality of getting an hour’s exercise in per day can be much different, and often dictated by parents and their level of daily physical activity. It can help to provide encouragement and suggestions for activity, and even better than that, getting involved with outdoor activities with your children. Here are some of the health, social and emotional benefits of getting out into the fresh air and doing some exercise with your kids.
Strong muscles and bones
Maintaining and developing muscles and strong bones is important for children because they’re still growing at a fast rate. Physical activity promotes the development of new bone tissue, which in turns makes bones stronger, and supports muscle growth all at the same time.
A healthy balanced diet and regular exercise is the key for parent’s to help control their child’s weight. An hour’s exercise a day should be enough to help your child lose weight, or maintain their current weight. Younger children in particular, are not as bothered about a healthy diet as teenagers and adults, so exercise can sometimes be the easiest route for them to take when it comes to weight control and loss.
Decreased risk of health complications
Children who exercise regularly have a much lower risk of developing health complications in later life. These include type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, dementia and the risk of having a stroke.
Increased positive mood and reduced stress
Exercise is a great stress reliever, because it takes a child’s mind away from any negative or worrying thoughts, and encourages them to dedicate their focus on the activity in front of them and their body movements. Physical activity also boosts endorphins (the brain’s feel-good senses) and lowers the symptoms of depression and anxiety – two mental health issues reported recently by the news to be on the increase amongst children and young people.
Maintain and improve balance and flexibility
Balance and flexibility both have an important role to play in general fitness, and it’s important to keep muscles flexible so your child’s body doesn’t get stiff in later years. As well as that, maintaining balance and flexibility means that you’re at less risk of developing an injury.
Boost confidence and self-esteem
Exercising generally makes children feel much better about themselves, and team sports especially promote increased social interaction and confidence to speak and play with other children on an emotional and physical level.