The Benefits of Physical Activity
Health care workers are worried and rightly so. Today's kids are heavier than ever before, with childhood obesity posing potential health problems for kids now and even after they grow up. Overweight and obese children are far likelier than their leaner peers to grow into obese adults, and the health ramifications associated with obesity are well known. Heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, and even some forms of cancer have been connected to obesity, so parents and others who care about the welfare of children need to do all that they can to help kids understand the importance of staying active and fit.
Short Term Benefits of Physical ActivityKids and teens often have a hard time thinking in terms of long term consequences, so associating the exercise that they do now with their future health may not provide them with much motivation. It's perfectly normal for kids to believe that nothing bad will ever happen to them, despite their actions, but parents can explain the benefits of keeping active that their kids will see right away, rather than at some future time.
Kids who are active look better - leaner and firmer than their sedentary peers, a fact that older kids and teens may find especially important. Additionally, physical activity boosts energy, helps to alleviate stress and anxiety, and can lift mild to moderate depression, all things that can make life easier for today's busy kids.
Exercise and participation is sports can help children socially, introducing them to new kids and providing many opportunities for involved play. Often, children form their closest friendships with either the kids at school or those who share the same outside interests. Playing a team sport or enrolling in an exercise class helps kids to meet others with whom they have things in common.