I don’t think there’s a soul out there who would argue activity is a bad thing for our children. The end.
Kidding, of course. But seriously, we all know active children are healthy children; so why are children’s TV program ratings still so high? It seems like Caillou and Paw Patrol have a larger following than say, the great outdoors… And while we all know activity is “a good thing,” we still choose sedentary activities over active ones all too often. While an afternoon movie may at times be an easier option, here are five reasons active choices are better choices:
#1. Active kids sleep better. Kids who get that energy out during the day will have more restful sleep at night and an easier time falling asleep at bedtime. Enough said.
#2. It makes kids healthier in and out. It’s not surprising that active children are less likely to be overweight or obese, but activity doesn’t just affect the number on the scale. Regular physical activity is also proven to strengthen muscles and even bones. There are a slew of other health benefits, too, including lower risk for diabetes, colon cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
#3. Activity drives better focus. There’s a reason for recess; kids brains (and, really, adult ones, too) need a mental break to be able to focus and absorb information. Physical activity releases energy and is proven to increase factors that lead to success, including attentiveness and concentration.
#4. It helps academic achievement. Following on the heels of #3, research has found that kids who are regularly active are more likely to earn higher grades in school and academic test scores. Given that active kids have better attentiveness and concentration, it makes sense.
#5. It fosters resiliency. Activity releases endorphins which trigger chemicals in the brain that make us feel happy, so it’s easy to understand why research finds that active kids are less likely to experience feelings of depression and anxiety. Activity doesn’t just affect physical health: It also creates better mental and psychological well-being.
These are just a few of the reasons activity is so crucial for our youth, and there are countless others—from building confidence to helping children learn how to work within a team, follow directions from someone other than a parent (at an early age), build strong relationships, and beyond. Really, the question shouldn’t by why activity is beneficial for our youth, but why it isn’t; I’d be hard pressed to give an actual answer.
Our athletes are just that – athletes. They work hard mentally and, of course, physically. Day after day. And it shows. They’re confident, skilled, fit and generally happy. We like to think our coaches and environment as a whole contribute to that, but activity levels definitely play a part as well. Active kids are happy, successful kids. What more can you ask for?
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