Physical activity provides many benefits that can positively affect children’s health, their mental and social well-being, and their performance in the classroom. It can greatly benefit children’s health. Since the early 1970s, average weight has been steadily increasing among children from all socioeconomic levels, racial and ethnic groups and regions of the country.
The increase in childhood overweight has been accompanied by higher levels of weight-related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, gallstones and depression.
The incidence of type 2 diabetes among adolescents, though still not high, has increased by a factor of more than 10 in the past two decades. Less than a generation ago ‘type 2’ diabetes was called ‘adult onset’ diabetes because it was unknown in children. It is now increasingly common in children under the age of 10.
Physical activity can play a key role in combating the growing epidemics of obesity and diabetes. It contributes to weight loss and helps prevent obesity. It strengthens muscles and makes them more flexible. It strengthens the capacity of the lungs to breathe. In addition, it may help reduce the risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
Prevention is the key to avoiding the onset of inactivity-related conditions and diseases. While exercise is an important antidote to overweight and obesity, as well as depression and low self-esteem, preventing these problems from occurring in the first place is an even better strategy. The experience of most adults will confirm that it is easier to keep moving than to get moving after long periods of inactivity.
It is easier to maintain a healthy body weight than to fight back against overweight and obesity. These truths apply to young people, too. Engaging in physical activity during childhood increases the chance of remaining physically active as an adult.
Along with its roles in helpint to keep children healthy, prevent chronic conditions and develop an active lifestyle, physical activity has many other benefits. It can reduce the effects of stress, while at the same time stimulating brain activity and increasing the ability to concentrate. Reducing stress can make it easier for children to develop physically, mentally, intellectually, and socially. It could help the kid to perform better in the classroom.
In addition, exercising in a group setting with other children can instill a sense of belonging. It can also help them develop important life skills such as taking turns, sharing and cooperating with others. This in turn can have a positive effect on the classroom environment.
Source :_ DavidKatzMD