There are a number of physical as well as psychological benefits of regular exercise for adults as well as children. It has been observed that children with poor physical activity habits do not start exercising even when they turn adults. In simple terms, childhood habits tend to continue and have a big impact on the future life of children.
Many children today tend to spend a lot of time in front of computers or television instead of playing outdoors. This has lead to onset of obesity and various related diseases in children.
In fact, it is estimated that one in three children in US is overweight. Obesity is also quickly becoming a global problem as children spend more time on phones, tablets, TV and computers instead of spending some time outdoors. Also, children these days eat a lot of fat and salt laden processed food.
Therefore, it is important for parents and other adults in the family to understand the importance of exercise for children and ensure that they exercise on a regular basis. Here are some of the other benefits of regular physical activity for children.
Importance of Exercise for Children
It Helps in Increasing Focus
One of the biggest benefits of regular exercise for children is that it helps in increasing learning and focus. A research study that observed the habits of high school students found that students who regularly participated in a gym class at the beginning of the day were able to solve problems more effectively as compared to students who did not exercise.
It Enhances Brain Function
Researchers have found that regular exercise helps in increasing the neurons and strengthening the interconnections between them. Regular exercise also helps them in protecting brain from damage. Tests on animals have illustrated that regular exercise leads to the release of beneficial proteins called neurotrophic factors by the nerve cells.
These proteins help in triggering release of various other chemicals that help in learning and overall neural health. Regular exercise also leads to increased blood flow to the brain and improves the development of neurons.
Lower Cardiovascular Risk in Adulthood
A review of various research studies on physically active schoolchildren has reported that regular physical activity during childhood is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases in youth as well as adulthood.
Lower Levels of Stress
It won’t be wrong to say that children today are facing a lot of stress due to increased competition and pressure to perform academically. Regular physical activity helps in increasing the level of endorphins and norepinephrine that lead to stress reduction and mood improvement.
It Improves Appetite
It has been seen that children who are physically inactive also have poor eating habits. They tend to eat more snacks and processed food that makes them overweight. Regular exercise helps in improving the appetite in children which means that children demand nourishment that comes from a well balanced diet.
It also helps in improving their digestive health and metabolism. Metabolism and digestive health play an important role in the growing age.
It Prevents Obesity
One of the biggest causes of obesity is lack of physical activity. Regular exercise helps in keeping obesity at bay.
It Strengthens Muscles
It increases blood circulation that allows all the organs in the body to become more efficient which mean fitter body. It also helps in strengthening muscles and bones in the body.
Recommended Exercises for Children
Any kind of games that include physical activity are great for kids. Parents may take their children to the park and let them play various games such as climbing trees, swings and similar other games. It is important to expose children to as many different activities as possible.
Take them out for a walk or get them to participate with the parent’s workout activities. I always have my children join me when I do my workouts. I love the exercise program from the following website: Quick Ab Workout, abdominal exercises for women.
However, experts also caution parents against letting young children participate in various organized sports as competition may take away the creativity and fun from the game. However, if an interest is expressed by the child for an organized physical activity, parents should allow participation at a lower level. The goal is to keep the activity fun for children.
Overall, everyone understands the importance of exercise but it is important for parents to realize the importance of exercise for children. Along with regular exercise, children should also eat a healthy diet and spend more time outdoors than indoors to remain healthy.