Benefits of exercise and sports for children
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE?
Physical activity benefits more than just our physical health. It helps kids become more independent and resilient, and enables them to appreciate the value of teamwork.
Some of the specific benefits of physical activity in children and teenagers include:
• improving cardiovascular fitness;
• helping to build strong bones;
• maintaining a healthy weight;
• aiding development of physical skills such as coordination and balance;
• helping with relaxation;
• improving sleep;
• developing communication and problem-solving skills;
• improving academic performance;
• building self-esteem; and
• developing emotional and social skills.
EXERCISE FOR TODDLERS
It is recommended that toddlers get at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity and at least 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity each day.
Those are really just minimums, though. Toddlers should actually be physically active for several hours each day and shouldn’t be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time unless they are sleeping.
STRUCTURED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FOR KIDS
Parents may read these recommendations and say it sounds like a great idea that their toddlers and preschoolers be active, but what is structured physical activity, especially versus unstructured physical activity?
According to the guidelines, every day, kids should spend a certain time doing:
Structured Physical Activity – This is activity that is planned or directed by a parent or other caregiver and is geared to the child’s developmental level.
For example, a parent might play a parade song and have a two-year-old march around, lifting her legs and pumping her arms up and down, and following a path around the room to the beat of the song.
Of course, there are plenty of other fun, light-to-vigorous physical activities that would count as structured physical activity that you can do with a toddler or preschooler and that get them clapping, stomping, jumping, walking, running, rolling, kicking, hiding, sliding, and moving in other ways.
UNSTRUCTURED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
In contrast, unstructured physical activities are those that your toddler or preschooler does on his own, like when he actively plays with a new toy that gets him moving around, like a ride-on car, tricycle, soccer ball, or even running after a puppy.
What we can do at TheChildPlus- Holistic Pediatrics?
We believe that physical activity and sports help a lot in child’s development. And our doctors will help you to guide at every level possible. Feel free to visit us. We are happy to help.
Aarohi Mehta is physical therapist and sports coach.