Last Updated on September 8, 2022 by Olivia Anderson
Physical activity is necessary for a child’s physical, mental, and emotional development, which is why physical education classes are part of the curriculum in many schools. Whether you like it or not, there is no question that exercise should always be encouraged for your child because it offers numerous benefits.
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Ways through which physical activity promotes child development
- Physical growth
Like food, exercise is essential to a child’s physical development. Exercise is a stimulus for the body to adapt to, helping your child develop stronger muscles and bones. Healthy bone mass and density should be developed from a young age, as this will lower the risk of bone-related disorders like osteoporosis.
- Improved fitness
Exercise helps build physical strength, and having physical strength offers several advantages for a developing child. This includes walking farther distances without exertion and the power to carry out daily duties. Additionally, exercise encourages stability and flexibility.
- Improvement in motor abilities
Younger children benefit from physical exercise during playtime by developing their motor skills, which are essential for teaching them the basic motions they will use in everyday life. Basic tasks like feeding oneself, tying one’s shoes, and writing can be accomplished as a child’s motor abilities grow.
- Improved posture
Children frequently slouch, and exercise can help reverse this alarming trend by enhancing a child’s posture by building core and spinal strength. A child’s spine is protected against deformation caused by excessive slouching when they have good posture; it also lowers their risk of developing body pains from poor posture.
- Weight management
Physical activity burns calories more effectively than anything else, making it a must for weight management. While most parents want to treat their kids by letting them eat as much as they like, they should note that childhood obesity carries a significant chance of continuing into adulthood. The Health Promotion Board estimates this number could be as high as 70%.
- Maintaining cardiovascular health
Parents may find children with excess weight endearing, but health risks are associated. Obesity in childhood increases a child’s chance of metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems like high cholesterol later in life or, worse, at a younger age.
- Cognitive development
Exercise benefits cognitive growth as much as physical fitness. The hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of the brain are stimulated to multiply and make new connections during exercise. As a result, it improves focus and memory, which will undoubtedly benefit a school-going child’s academic needs.
- Improved mental health
Exercise may initially seem like a torturous task to some kids, but once they get into the swing of things, it may be a transformative experience. The production of feel-good chemicals during exercise also helps to improve moods and relieve tension and anxiety. Nothing brings joy to a parent’s heart like seeing their joyful child.
- Development of social skills
Children can establish new friendships through exercise, which also fosters and develops social skills. For instance, playing team sports can help kids develop vital communication skills like leadership, teamwork, and the ability to detect non-verbal clues.
Do children need a lot of exercises?
Children above six should generally engage in at least an hour of physical activity daily. This can be divided into smaller halves to accommodate people with shorter attention spans.
In organized or team sports, the general rule is that the child’s age should not exceed the number of hours per week they play.
Types of exercises
Make sure your child exercises using three methods: weight-bearing, strength-training, and aerobic. Your child will benefit the most from exercise if they do all three of these exercises, which target various areas. While strength training and weight-bearing concentrate on developing strong muscles and bones, aerobic workouts increase stamina.