How Physical Activity Can Help Children’s Mental And Physical Growth
When children are engaged in activity every day, they remain physically and mentally healthy. Staying active is essential for healthy growth and development. Healthy lifestyle patterns formed during early childhood prove of immense benefit in later life as an adult.
The Importance Of Regular Physical Activity
Regular physical activity teaches children to cope with stress and promotes:
- Overall body strength
- Strong bones, strong and supple muscles, and healthy joints
- Better posture and balance
- A stronger heart
- Better self-esteem
- Team spirit and social interaction with friends
- Weight management
- Fun Learning and new skills
- Improved focus and concentration on studies
- Healthy physical and mental growth and development
Allow children to decide whether they would prefer team or individual activities. Before enrolling them for any class, enquire about their liking for skill-based or recreational classes.
Parents Should Be Supportive And Guide Children
It is crucial that parents are available as a support or to guide children to decide the extent of activity they engage in every day. Children who are motivated and enjoy their activities remain engaged in those activities proactively with minimal support.
Maintaining an activity log helps children see their progress. Some appreciation and reward from parents boost their motivation. Some of the things to keep in view when children are participating in any activities include:
- Make sure they warm-up and cool-down as part of each activity session.
- Hydration by drinking water pre and post-activities and having water breaks in between.
- Using the right sized protective equipment.
- Playing safe by starting at a level that matches their fitness.
- Wearing sunglasses, sunblock and a hat to protect the eyes, skin, and head.
Types Of Activities
Three specific types of activities can promote healthy growth & development in children:
#1 Endurance-Related Activities
Activities involving the continuous movement of large muscle groups result in endurance building. This increases heart rate, breathing rate, and makes them sweat. This helps in the development of a healthy heart and lungs.
Endurance activities for children must be fun, and they need not be competitive. Depending upon their likes and dislikes, you can help them choose from activities such as:
- Martial Arts
- In-Line Skating
- Scuba Diving
- Playing Tag
- Dodge ball
- Rope Climbing
- Wall Climbing
#2 Flexibility-Related Activities
Activities that involve bending, stretching, and reaching, help improve flexibility. Children with flexible bodies can participate in daily activities with ease. Their body movements aren’t restricted by muscle or joint pain. Flexibility is also essential for maintaining good posture and minimising the risk of injury due to the stiffness of muscles or joints. Activities that promote flexibility include:
- Actively playing in a playground
- Stretching routines
- Wall climbing
- Tree climbing
- Yoga, skipping
- Digging in the farm or garden or at the beach
#3 Strength-Related Activities
Stronger muscles mean a stronger body. Working against resistance helps children to improve their muscular strength. Children with adequate muscular strength can cope with daily activities without feeling stress in their muscles and joints. Strength building activities help strengthen bones & muscles, and improve the children’s ability to lift and manoeuvre obstacles. It has a positive impact on a child’s growth and development. Strength activities include:
- Raking leaves
- Climbing stairs
- Gym exercise & gymnastics
- Calisthenics – Using their body weight as resistance
- Supervised weight training exercises using hand weights, tubing, and bands.
- Playground activities – scaling poles, monkey bars, climbing ladders, etc.
- Carrying groceries, garden waste and trash
If you want to know more about our activities at Clovel Childcare and Early Learning Centres, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Just give us a call at 1300 863 986 or fill in this contact us form.
Thanks for reading,
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