The importance of physical activity in children

When you think of healthy and happy children, the first image that pops into your head is children running around and playing while laughing and having the time of their lives. So, all parents and caregivers would agree that active children tend to be both happier and healthier. This, of course, is scientifically proven as studies have indicated that children who are more active on a daily basis show better abilities, like focusing on demanding tasks, learning new skills, and many more. This article will delineate some of the most important benefits that exercise has for children and convince every parent to encourage their child to be more physically active!

Attain proper physical growth

Just like food is essential for physical growth, exercise is also fundamental for one’s well-being as it enables muscles to become stronger and bones to have increased mass and density. Exercising, therefore, significantly decreases the risk of future bone-related diseases, such as osteoporosis, which is one of the most common diseases among older adults.

Achieve a good fitness level

Physical activity helps children to build endurance, which allow them to walk long distances without getting overly tired or performing their daily tasks and not feeling completely drained of energy by the end of the day. At the same time, flexibility, coordination, and stability is achieved, which leads to better fitness performance and enhances strength.

Have better posture

Students, especially younger ones, often carry bags full of books that might weigh almost as much as themselves! This has many negative consequences on children’s health, especially on their back since it often results in children assuming a slouching position. Fortunately, exercise helps in decreasing the risk of deformation of the child’s spine due to slouching, as it activates core and increases spine strength. Moreover, being fit enables children to hold a good posture, reducing in this way the experience of body aches that result from bad posture.

Control your weight

Nowadays, obesity of children is becoming increasingly common, which brings a number of serious health issues. By engaging in physical activity everyday significantly lowers the chances of obesity as it is a determining factor for weight management. It is important to note that when a child is obese, there is a really high risk of remaining obese as an adult, hence, the health benefits of exercising are long-term and even contribute to the prevention of chronic diseases.

Concentrate more easily

Exercise, however, is not only about having a healthy body but also a healthy mind, due to the fact that physical activity affects brain development! This is because exercise triggers the nerve cells in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of the brain which multiply and form new connections. This process improves concentration, memory, and thinking skills, which are essential traits for academic success.

Be confident

Importantly, physical activity plays a big role in children’s self-esteem. If a child is good at a certain sport, this boosts their confidence in their skills and abilities. Simultaneously, a healthy self-image helps children to feel better about themselves. Finally, especially with regard to team sports, a child can make friends much easier and feel part of a  social group that shares similar interests or has common goals. It is of vital importance for children to be as healthy as possible so that they grow up to be healthy adults. The key to this is to make physical activity part of their everyday life. Parents and caregivers can succeed this by engaging their children in various fun physical activities that can also help the entire family to bond and spend quality time together. It is RMH® Cyprus’ priority to ensure that families are kept together while having access to “a home away from home” when they need to be close to their hospitalized child. For more information, you can check our websites: RMHC® Cyprus and RMHC® Global