4 Benefits of Exercise that Have Nothing to Do with Fitness
The physical benefits of exercise go without saying, but did you know that physical activity provides kids with social and emotional benefits too?
Through exercise, kids can build social skills, increase confidence, and help reduce anxiety.
The American Academy of Pediatrics even recommends at least 60 minutes of physical activity (e.g. biking, hiking, dancing, rollerblading) every day for children 6 years and older.
Did you know exercise can…
Participating in physical activity is linked to improving children’s self-esteem. Physical activities provide children with the opportunity to set and achieve goals, master a specific set of skills, socially bond with peers, and learn self-reliance. Confidence likely increases when children learn new skills and belief in abilities can be reinforced by supportive teammates and coaches.
Improve Social Skills
Kids can improve social skills through physical activity. Team sports or organized activities teach kids how to work together to accomplish a task or win a game. Through team sports, kids learn that “there is no I in team” and that working together can be the best and most efficient way to achieve goals. Even free play activities, like a game of kickball at the park, can teach kids how to celebrate victories as a team and how to support each other in defeat.
Boost Academic Performance
Physical activity is linked to improved academic performance, especially as children age. Research conducted by the CDC has shown a positive relationship between kids participating in school-organized extracurricular physical activities that occur outside of the regular school day and GPA.
Helps Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Just 30 minutes of exercise has been shown to reduce stress in children as young as four as well as adults. As rates of stress and anxiety rise in kids, it’s now more important than ever to teach children healthy ways to manage stress. Teaching kids that taking a walk, going for a run, or shooting a few hoops can help minimize anxiety early on will help them cope with stress later in life.