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Kid Companions- Chewelry: Jan 15, 2011

January 15, 2011

Benefits of Daily Physical Activity for Children

When done regularly, 
physical exercise has long term benefits.

All individuals benefit from regular physical activity and it is especially true for all children. The physical, mental and social benefits of keeping active also build a foundation for a better teen and adult life. Canada's Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living states: "Making physical activity a part of the day is fun and healthy. Encouraging kids to build physical activity into their daily routine helps to create a pattern that may stay with them for the rest of their lives."

Affects School Outcomes

Research has shown that children have a better attention span and learn better when their school days include active breaks. Moreover, active kids have a better appetite, usually have more hours of sleep and a better quality of sleep and that, in itself will improve their concentration and learning abilities. Active students often show improvement in all round behavior and self-confidence.
For kids, exercise means
 playing and being
 physically active.

Lessens Stress, Anxiety and Frustrations

Let kids JUST PLAY with NO schedules, rules, coaches, bells, whistles, timers, evaluations, penalties, trophies, best times, winners and loosers. Allow lots of time for free play so Kids can use their imaginations and invent games, fantasy worlds, imaginary friends, create songs and dances. No structure, no pressure just pleasure! And as often as possible have them play outside.

Exercise is scientifically proven to be a great stress reliever. Stress is caused by hormones and exercise decreases these hormones. At the same time, exercise increases the production of endorphins which help our bodies feel good. Also exercise is an outlet for physical energy that helps cope with frustrations.

If your child loves team sports or individual sports, it is a great way to build lasting friendships. If this is not the case, good old fashion free play with play dates will do the trick.

You surely do not want your child to be the lone child in the corner of the school playground moping because no one lets him/her play. If your child is physically fit and has leaned the basic running, jumping, catching, throwing and kicking skills of childhood, this will boost his self-esteem and encourage him to make the first step in finding playground fun and friends.

All levels and different kinds of physical exercise bring long term advantages, including the following:
*See improvements in muscle strength, coordination, and flexibility.

* Improve exercise endurance, cardiovascular efficiency, and possibly increased life expectancy.

*Experience better balance, motor skills and body awareness.

Playing outdoors gives
 a feeling of  freedom,
unconfined by walls.

 * Will have positive changes in health, quality of life and boost to self-esteem.

* Gets to experiences a sense of accomplishment and possibly the taste of winning.

*Will see a decrease in secondary health complications like obesity, high blood pressure, low HDL ("good") cholesterol and diabetes.

Sedentary Teens More Likely
To Have Higher Blood Pressure

How Much Physical Activity Does a Child Need

Canada’s Physical Activity Guide for Children recommends 90 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Statistics, scientific proof and common sense should be enough motivation for parents to be instrumental in helping their children achieve this required amount of daily physical activity. If you are still not convinced it is time to get your ‘Couch Potato’ moving, picture yourself trying to comfort an overweight, bullied child for the umpteenth time!

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