Originally published April 10, 2022 in The Tech Edvocate.
By Matthew Lynch
Children of today are very different from the children of the 1990s. It’s all computer screens and smartphones, a trend that has caused more youngsters to become physically unfit. You wouldn’t think so, but modern kids are lazy compared to the older generations. In part, it’s down to the endless supply of fast food and advancing technology.
It has never been more important for kids to boost their physical fitness. So, here are a handful of reasons why children should be physically fit.
Insulin resistance and glucose intolerance result in Type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, children can develop these issues when they are physically inactive. Keeping active reduces the risk of diabetes significantly.
Keeping a Healthy Heart
Cardiovascular disease is likely to become a future problem in a child’s life when they are inactive. Regular exercise or activity can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Exercise helps to reduce excess body fat and ensures the blood is pumping effectively.
Building Better Bones for Life
Bone density can be lost when a person remains inactive for prolonged periods. Children, too can see a reduction in density, especially when they do not get sufficient exercise. Their early years are the best time for the body to build good bone structure and strength. When the body doesn’t get enough exercise, the bones become weak, which could result in osteoporosis in adulthood.
Physical activity may prevent this.
Reduce Blood Pressure Levels
It seems hard to believe a child can develop high blood pressure; however, it is always possible. When children are inactive throughout their lives, they are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure. By keeping a child active, it will keep their blood pressure at a safe level. It’ll also make the blood vessel walls a lot more versatile, flexible even.
Aerobic exercises will produce the best results. It’ll offer greater flexibility and build the child’s strength.
Build Muscle Strength and Confidence
Any activity that involves the muscles builds strength. From playing on the monkey bars to jump-rope or even playing tag with the other kids, those physical movements use a child’s muscles. Arm, leg, and even back muscles are given a thorough workout. Each time a child does something physically active, it builds on their muscles little by little. It makes the muscles stronger and helps protect against injuries.
Greater Energy for the Child
Children often have a lot of energy to burn off; unfortunately, when there is a lack of activity, the child could feel too tired to do anything. Exercise offers a shot of energy and may even help the child focus or concentrate better. These are crucial so that the child can focus on their studies without drifting off in a daze.
Improving Lung Capacity
When children exercise, they increase their oxygen levels significantly, all the while removing carbon dioxide. This helps to improve their overall lung capacity and make them stronger. It will also help the brain and heart to function effectively.
Improving A Child’s Emotional Wellbeing
Exercise releases serotonin and endorphins in the brain, and this helps to fight against depression and other negative thoughts. Exercises help children to feel better, have more optimism, an develop a positive self-image. Children who exercise are more likely to feel good about their bodies too.
Fight Back Against Obesity and Weight Problems
The body stores calories as fat when it doesn’t exercise enough, and children can quickly pile on the pounds, which is why physical activity is a necessity. It’ll burn off those excess calories and may help prevent the child from becoming overweight.
Obesity is a major problem for children, so it’s crucial they are active to work off those excess calories.
Decreasing the Chances of Some Cancers
While there are many reasons why cancer can develop in the body, there tends to be a greater risk for those who are overweight and physically inactive. On the other hand, it might be possible to reduce the risk of some cancers through exercise.
Physical activity helps to boost the circulation of insulin and cancer-preventive estrogen too. Children are less likely to develop kidney, colon, breast, and liver cancers through routine exercise.
Children need to remain active. Whether they play a game of soccer, go cycling to the local shops, or just walk to school and back, it’s all good for their wellbeing. It is crucial to ensure your children remain active and physically fit because if they don’t, it’s their health that suffers.
An active child is more likely to remain active and healthy through into their adult lives.