Why physical activity is important at all ages

How physical activity effects children’s health

Photo by Njambi Ndiba

Photo by Njambi Ndiba

This week we are starting a two article series where we will look at the importance of physical activity for different age groups. There are more and more studies being done about the various benefits of physical activity for both children and the elderly. Set a MOVE goal for the weeks to come to get your youngest and oldest family members or friends to find their MOVE! This week we will focus on the physical activity benefits for children.

Michigan State University recently posted an article reminding us of the importance of physical activity for children’s development. Children are usually perceived to have a very active lifestyle; they play, run everywhere, and have physical education lessons at school. But in our modern age, technology takes up so much of our kids’ play time and many of the games they play involve sitting down at the computer or with a phone in their hands. As a result, physical inactivity and obesity numbers are growing rapidly, especially among this young group.

Children’s muscles and bones can only develop properly if physical activities are included in their daily routines. Different exercises can help to strengthen their heart, to make their muscles stronger and help their bones to develop. It is important for children to do activities like walking, running, basketball, football or dancing.

The American Heart Association reminds us that the recommended level for children of 60 minutes of moderate physical activity per day can dramatically increase a child’s well being. This does not only refer to physical well being. While exercising our brain releases chemical called endorphin, which makes you feel happier and thus can also have a positive effect on a child’s emotional state.

To help boost your child’s daily dose of physical activity, enroll them in an after school program that involves some exercise or have a little play time outside with them after work – that way you will also get your dose of exercise for the day!

Have a look here, you can find fun games to play together with your little ones!

Stay tuned for the follow-up article next week where we will be looking at the benefits of physical activity for the elderly.

 

Keep on moving!

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