When it comes to ensuring your kids lead a healthy lifestyle, regular physical activity has an important part to play. Not only is it good for their bones and muscles, but it will also keep their brain healthy, boost their mood, and may even improve grades. However, what qualifies as regular exercise? Let us quickly run through it.
What Counts as “Regular Exercise?”
Children’s health experts state the recommended amount of exercise to keep the body fit and mind sharp is at least an hour a day. One of the guaranteed ways to ensure a good workout for kids is by encouraging them to play.
It can include any form of outdoor play such as playing with playground equipment, biking, throwing a Frisbee, playing sports like football, or being involved in extra-curricular activities such as dancing, skating, or swimming. In short, anything that involves body movement and being active can qualify as exercise.
What is Happening in the Body & Brain During Exercise?
When children are involved in physical activity such as playing, their heart rate increases, and blood flow to the brain is regulated. This exposes their brain to more nutrients and oxygen. Regular exercise also releases nourishing proteins (neurons) to the brain and promotes the development of new neurons, which are the building blocks of the brain.
Exercise Can Boost Mood & Reduces Stress
Regular exercise is an excellent stress buster for kids. The reason being, when exercising, our bodies release “feel-good” chemicals such as endorphins and dopamine. This can help kids feel less anxious and improve overall mood. Children who are involved in regular play tend to be happier and less stressed than the ones who don’t exercise. What’s more, exercise can also help control their emotions when they feel upset or angry.
Exercise May Improve Grades
Exercise has proven to improve children’s mental abilities. On average, kids who are involved in regular physical activity tend to score better in math and reading. Exercise can also enhance short-term and long-term memory. In fact, kids who exercise even a few times a week can improve their ability to recall what they read.
What’s more, by being active, kids will have more energy during the day. This has a positive impact on the quality of their sleep. In turn, good sleep can improve brain function and creativity.
In conclusion, ensuring consistent physical activity will help keep your children’s brain sharp and healthy. Moreover, by creating regular exercise habits, your kids are more likely to maintain those routines as they grow into adulthood.