The 2018 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth recently came out and we love their take on the importance of physical fitness. It’s about more than 1-mile run times and fitness benchmarks. Increasing our kids’ physical fitness leads to greater overall quality of life, improved grades and a host of other mental and physical benefits.
Here are just a few of the reasons to spend more time on physical fitness and literacy:
1. Greater Activity Leads to a Greater Quality of Life
Participating in a wide range of developmentally appropriate, enjoyable, and safe play-based and organized physical activities in a variety of environments are associated with better growth, cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal fitness, cognitive development, psychosocial health/emotional regulation, motor development, body composition, quality of life/well-being, as well as reduced injuries.
2. Greater Confidence and Self-Esteem
Children and youth who engage in regular physical activity report better perceptions of themselves, including having higher self-esteem. Regular physical activity is associated with increased self-concept and self-worth in children and youth.
3. Improved Cognition and Behaviour
Participation in regular physical activity improves the ability of children and youth to meet academic expectations, with greater physical activity levels leading to better performance in subjects such as mathematics, reading/language, science and social studies.
4. Better Overall School Performance
Many of the brain processes that make for better, more efficient learners—such as focus, memory, and recall—are enhanced after single or repeated bouts of physical activity. Overall, active children and youth make for better achieving students.
5. Broad Mental Health Benefits
Physical activity helps minimize depressive symptoms in children and youth. Perceptions of control and the social nature of physical activity are two of the most understood reasons for how physical activity contributes to reduced depressive symptoms in children and youth. Additionally, research suggests that the rush in serotonin and dopamine— neurotransmitters or “feel-good” brain chemicals that are released while being physically active—may also play a role in promoting feelings of happiness in children and youth.
What can you do to help your child move more and move better?
Bring them to us! Our KIDS classes are the perfect way to get little ones moving, and our Teens/Tweens classes will get them off the screens and into the gym! We focus on physical literacy FIRST, helping kids move safer and better. Our goal is to create a positive association with exercise, so kids will be asking YOU for gym time.
If you have any questions about ways to get your little ones moving, email firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re here to help!