As children engage in activities that get them moving, there are significant side effects that participating has on their lives. From better health overall to long-term benefits into adulthood, childhood fitness has some great byproducts beyond just fun.
Fun should be a main driving factor in getting children to participate in physical activity. Having fun with fitness continues to drive motivation for children. However, the following are 20 hard facts about the benefits of incorporating fitness into the lives of youths:
- Development. It is better for bones and muscles throughout the body to get active early. The musculoskeletal system benefits from regular and varied activity.
- Attitude. When children feel good about themselves, this improves their outlook on life, opening them up to discover and maximize their potential.
- Growth. Children who get active early are more likely to stay active throughout their lives.
- Emotional Development. Participating in group exercise gives children the chance to learn healthy coping skills to manage stress.
- Maturity. Children who participate in activities are more likely to have a sense of self as part of something bigger, rather than a more self-centric view.
- Leadership. Getting active gives children experience leading group activities or making choices that affect others.
- Confidence. When children learn new skills, they gain more self-respect and feel more confident.
- Health. Active children tend to retain their healthy habits and emerge into adulthood in better overall condition.
- Diet. The ability for children to connect healthy eating with activity early in life will sustain them as they understand the importance of making good food choices throughout their lives.
- Cognition. Childhood fitness improves kids’ ability to think and learn.
- Movement. Fitness counteracts modern sedentary lifestyles and provides an opportunity to move as well as instill a desire to be active.
- Strength. Getting fit as a child contributes to feeling strong enough to manage the changes and stress of life as well as actual strength to withstand the physical demands of a full life.
- Heart. Activity in childhood leads to better heart health as an adult.
- Success. The more fitness children achieve, the more likely they are to seek out other achievements, engaging with life and striving for success.
- Participation. When children are active, they gain skills that can lead to membership of a team or club.
- Wellness. Children that engage in physical activity will be more likely to protect their bodies than harm themselves through unhealthy choices such as substance abuse.
- Motivation. The effort to reach fitness goals will extend to other aspects of life and make it more possible to accomplish goals overall.
- Knowledge. As children participate in fitness, they gain knowledge about the way the body works and the requirements for living a healthy lifestyle.
- Body Image. Through fitness, children develop a realistic and accurate understanding of a healthy body so that they are less susceptible to disorders or negative body image.
- Power. Children that engage in fitness are more capable and self-reliant, and as a result, feel empowered.
Any one of these would be reason alone to get kids active but imagine the collective advantages that come from all twenty working together. Children will be healthier and stronger, both physically and mentally, for their childhood as well as adulthood.
Imagine The Possibilities
The healthier we grow as a society, the more we can develop culturally and individually. It’s a benefit to the world we live in when everyone has better health.
The financial costs alone for managing poor health are astronomical, not to mention the tragic loss of lives from preventable diseases or emotional suffering on relationships from the strain of caregiving. All these detract from our quality of life.
As society finds more reasons to be sedentary, from our workplace functions that require sitting at a computer to our advances in technology that make it less necessary to budge from the couch (order dinner, groceries, and clothes, all online!), it’s even more important to get moving early and often. Small movements grow larger over time as fitness transforms body strength and allows more opportunities to handle greater exercise.
While a simple game of catch seems like a small gesture, maybe meant to occupy a child’s attention, the movement does more good than just keeping them busy and having fun for a bit; it has a greater impact on the wellbeing of that child and their place in the world. The simple movements like that game of catch with a ball transform into bigger opportunities to move, like group sports or activities centered on ball play.
The facts of the matter are clear: fitness improves the quality of life, and it’s hard for anyone to argue against that. The sooner we accept our ability to improve life through movement and activity, the better we will feel in life.