What Are The Main Benefits Of Exercise For Children?

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

When it comes to a child’s development, physical activity is crucial. Playing tag on the playground, football at lunch, or even just walking to school are all examples of physical activity that count as exercise for kids, which can surprise those who assume that exercise has to be formal and rigorous. 

Exercise is any physical activity that causes a person to increase their heart rate and core temperature, as well as strengthen their skeletal muscles and cardiovascular system. So even if you might not think it’s exercise in the way you understand it, it could be just right for your children. Here are some of the reasons why exercise is so crucial for kids. 

Photo by Dominika Roseclay

Maintains A Healthy Weight

Children and teens often gain too much weight because they don’t move around enough and don’t eat well. This extra weight can make the heart, liver, lungs, and other major organs work harder, and ultimately it’s bad for them. Also, unhealthy weight gain can lead to joint injuries like knee problems that keep coming back, which may make kids and teens stop playing sports. This can make their health problems worse and can even damage their mental health.

When a child gets outside and exercises more rather than sitting inside, they will use up their body’s energy stores which would otherwise be turned to fat.

Strengthens Bones 

When the body is put under physical stress (which is essentially what happens when you exercise), bones also get stronger, just like muscles do. This is a good thing, and it will help your child stay healthy as they get olds. Adults tend to start losing bone mass as they reach their mid to late twenties, but those who have always exercised have better bone density to begin with, so it’s not such a problem.

Osteoporosis, a disease in which bones lose density, weaken, and become porous and fragile, can be prevented by making the bones more dense through exercise, which is why exercising early in life – and continuing it as you get older – is so good for you. 

Boosts The Immune System 

Every parent knows how their child’s immune system grows and changes. In particular, they know how often young kids get sick when they’re exposed to new germs at school.

Even though science hasn’t found a foolproof way to boost your immune system, the best thing you can do is live a healthy life. As part of this way of life, scientists and doctors recommend doing physical activities as often as possible. Even more directly, physical activity may help improve immune health by improving circulation. This lets the immune system’s cells and substances move freely through the body and do their job well, keeping your child healthier and less prone to catching colds and bugs. 

Good For Socialising 

Even if you are an introverted person, you need to socialise from time to time to stay healthy. Being with other people is good for your mental health, and it can boost serotonin levels in the body, which makes you feel happier and healthier, and reduces the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) you are producing. All in all, when you spend time with others, you’ll be doing good things for your wellbeing. 

Clearly, socialising is as good for children as it is for adults, and therefore choosing a way to exercise that encompasses this idea is a great way to help them in this regard. Sleepaway camps are an ideal example of what we’re talking about. However, as well as socialising being good for their health, the more time children spend with other people, the more life skills they will pick up, including how to socialise, which will help them in later life. 

Reduced Blood Sugar Levels 

Diabetes is a serious condition that affects millions of people. In fact, around one third of American adults have prediabetes, which means they are at serious risk of developing diabetes. 

Regular exercise can help to reduce blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of diabetes occurring. Controlling childhood blood sugar levels by avoiding sugary drinks and food is a good start, but when you add exercise to this, you can be quite sure you are doing all you can to help your child stay healthy and to develop healthy habits that will help them grow up healthy too. Diabetes can be a truly debilitating illness, so it’s worth doing all you can to avoid it. 

Decreases Stress

You might not like the idea of thinking that children can be stressed, but just because it’s not a nice thought, that doesn’t mean it’s not something that happens; children can get stressed and overwhelmed just like adults can. The reasons behind their stress might be different, but it’s still real, and it’s still a problem. 

Exercise can help to decrease stress levels in children (and adults). Not only do they release happy hormones into the body when they exercise, but any kind of sport or workout is a form of mindfulness, meaning that they’ll be focusing on the present and not worrying about whatever it is that is causing them a problem. 


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