The importance of physical activity for children

Jul 2012
Children that are frequently active will develop a stronger immune system and health.

Children look to their parents for support and guidance in life and this even continues in to adulthood. Therefore, it is crucial parents take the necessary steps to ensure their child benefits from a healthy and active lifestyle.

Children who are not encouraged to be physically active or eat healthy foods have a far higher chance of becoming obese and suffering from other over weight related illnesses later on in life.

While some people look at physical activity as a pursuit that prevents obesity arising, exercise has a number of mental benefits as well that can improve more than just the physical health of a child.

Physical benefits
Children that are frequently active will develop a stronger immune system which will help the body's chances of fighting away disease. A stronger immune system will prevent allergies and colds arising.

Exercise improves the body's metabolism to burn off carbohydrates and saturated fats. Insulin sensitivity will also be increased which will reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Heart diseases and attacks are often instigated by high blood pressure, but exercise can lower blood pressure as well as strengthen the overall cardiovascular system of a child.

The most obvious benefit of physical activity is of course weight loss and the avoidance of further weight gain. Therefore, parents need to encourage children to be physically active on a regular basis as the physical benefits are widespread.

Mental benefits
The brain has a metabolism which is enhanced by physical activity. Research has found children can improve their memory by taking part in regular exercise.

It is also quite common knowledge that exercise can decrease anxiety, prevent depression and generally improve the overall mood of both children and adults.

Children who struggle to sleep the recommended minimum will find regular exercise will improve the quality of sleep significantly.

Most importantly, parents need to be made aware that exercise can develop the confidence and self-esteem of children massively. Physical activity when performed with others is also sociable which make physical activity even more enjoyable.