Times have changed from the previous generation to the present “new” generation. Due to an increase in urbanised living, pressure to perform academically and the lack of time children have these days, the rate of physical activity have decreased dramatically.
Encouraging our children to exercise should be as important as any other task we ask them to perform. Your children should actually love exercise so much that it should not be a task for them but a FUN activity which they look forward to each day. It is beneficial for your child’s all round development and here are the reasons why:
1. Your child will be fit and healthy
Obesity has risen dramatically and our children are more prone to it in todays world due to the food they consume and their lack of physical activity. If every child participates in 60 minutes of exercise a day, obesity rates will go down. It is important for our children to be fit and healthy purely so they can enjoy their lives, have less health issues and live for a long time!
2. It helps cognitive development
Physical and cognitive development work together. This will continue for life but the relationship between the two are particularly important with children. When a child is active, their brain develops. Physical activity has shown to increase the size of essential brain structures and the number or neurological connections in a child’s brain.
3. Improves sensory skills
When a child participates in exercise, they need to use a lot of sensory skills – see, listen and touch. These skills are developed more fluently through exercise which will benefit them throughout life.
4. Improves motor skills
Exercise is great for your child’s motor skills. Catching and throwing, running and jumping etc.. are all working on the gross motor development in your child.
5. Improves behaviour
Frequent physical exercise has been associated with good behaviour inside and outside the classroom and concentration levels of children who exercise frequently are better than those children who don’t.
6. Improves social and emotional development
If your child participates in a group activity, it is a great chance for them to socialise. They learn about patience, giving, kindness and rewards. They also learn to work as a team and problem solve which is a very important life skill.
7. Improves balance and coordination
Structured activities are great for working on your child’s balance and co-ordination which are again very important life skills. The more your child practices on one activity, the more these skills will improve.
8. Great life habit
An active child will become an active adult. If you encourage your child to be physical now, it is a wonderful habit which they will hopefully continue with throughout their life.
9. Helps with depression
Studies show that frequent exercise reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety. When you exercise, your brain produces endorphins which are like little feel good neurotransmitters. These endorphins are fantastic at producing some positivity and reducing stress and tension.
10. Children learn about their own health and wellbeing
It is important for us to teach our children about the benefits of exercise and the impact it has on their bodies and mind. By teaching them we are encouraging our children to live healthily and reap the benefits from it. As a parent it is good to promote the “believe and succeed” method and sport is a great way to demonstrate this.
11. Fresh air and no Gadgets
Gadgets seem to be taking over these days and it is all too easy to entertain your child by throwing a bit of technology at them. Where that may benefit in some aspects of their development, NOTHING beats getting outside, breathing in fresh air and doing a bit of physical activity. It is a wonderful chance for your child to let loose. It is a chance for them to play, socialise and have fun. Life can be very stressful on children with the amount of academic goals they have to achieve. It is important for us as a parent to let them have some “time off”. This time out will benefit them tenfolds.
12. It promotes good sleep
Exercise works every part of your child’s body, physically and mentally. If they do enough of it, it should make them tired which will help them have a good, healthy nights sleep.
As you can see from these few points I mentioned exercise is so important for every human but even more so for children. It is critical for a child’s all round development and it helps them grow into happy, healthy adults.