If we want our children to lead happy healthy lives, we need to get them moving! According to the World Health Organisation, children who are physically active have:
- Less chance of becoming overweight or obese
- Increased strength & fitness
- Stronger heart & lungs
- Stronger bones
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduction in anxiety and stress
- Improved self-esteem
If children are not active, they are much more likely to get a serious illness in later life. Heart attack and stroke are rare in children, but the processes leading to these conditions begin in childhood.
What is Physical Activity?
Anything that gets you moving and your heart racing! It could be something as simple as a regular brisk walk around the block with friends.
We should help our children to find a physical activity that they like – remember that not all kids are into traditional sports. We should also encourage our children to play – unstructured play is a great way for kids to be active. See our article on ways to help kids be more active.
Extra Benefits of Exercise!
Stress is a real issue for many children and young people, and exercise is a great tool for managing stress. If children feel stressed, a bit of healthy exercise can be a great way for them to chill out.
Regular exercise breaks help improve performance at school – see our article on how exercise can improve academic performance.
How Much Exercise?
Ideally, children and young people should get at least one hour of physical activity every day.
If your children are not active at the moment, they should slowly increase their level of physical activity. The aim should be to gradually build up the intensity and volume of exercise.
Hopefully we’ve convinced you that being active is essential for your child’s health, so check out our resources for practical tips on getting kids active: