Being physically fit and leading a healthy lifestyle reaps many rewards, from combating sickness to creating a happier mental state. Here are two (more) key benefits of exercise for kids to keep you both motivated:
1. Bone Density
Participating in exercise and sports, such as running, helps develop greater bone density. However, this effect is only beneficial during childhood, as bone density cannot be significantly changed after it has been developed. Greater bone density protects the bones from fractures later on in life as well as prevents bone related weaknesses like osteoporosis - but not everyone develops bone density to the same extent.
Children develop bone density up until the age of 10, therefore leading an active lifestyle at a young age helps successfully develop stronger bones that contribute to a healthier life as they get older.
2. Brain Function
Being physically active has repeatedly been shown as being related to stronger academic performances in children. A recently published article concluded that “regular participation in physical activity is linked to the enhancement of brain function and cognition, thereby positively influencing academic performance.”
There are several reasons why exercise helps kids do better in school:
1. Increased blood and oxygen flow to the brain
2. Increased levels of norepinephrine and endorphins which reduces stress and boosts their mood
3. Increased growth factors that help create new nerve cells and support the brain’s ability to change
Developing stronger bones and building brainpower are just two of the many reasons why exercise is good for you.
Keep these benefits in mind as you head out to dance, start your next run or enroll for a new sport to keep you excited to work harder to grow stronger andsmarter!
Tobias JH, Gould V, Brunton L, Deere K, Rittweger J, Lipperts M, Grimm B. Physical activity and bone: may the force be with you. Frontiers in endocrinology. 2014. Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3939444/
Singh A, Uijtdewilligen L, Twisk JR, van Mechelen W, Chinapaw MM. Physical Activity and Performance at School: A Systematic Review of the Literature Including a Methodological Quality Assessment. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012;166(1):49-55. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.716. Link: http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1107683