Updated: Dec 12, 2020
Physical activity is beneficial (and in our opinion, mandatory) for everybody regardless of age. The earlier you can start, the better.
Activity from an early age should be encouraged as it benefits a child's development. It enhances and promotes the development of motor skills, bones and muscles, cognitive and social skills. Let's dive a little deeper into why exercising at a young age is so important and how they will benefit.
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 organized extracurricular physical activities that occur outside of the regular school day and GPA. Builds confidence and Self esteem- Seeing yourself improve will give anyone an increased level of self confidence. Its even more important as a youth because you haven't been exposed to the the world, social media, TV commercials etc that you're "not good enough" or that you need to "look" a certain way. A youths innocents, more often than not, is still in tacked. Therefore, if self confidence and self esteem can be built beforehand, it will allow children to handle any negativity thrown their way. You'll see a happier & more positive attitude- There's one thing that correlates with more confidence. That's a positive attitude. Think of someone who has supreme confidence but talks negatively about themselves or others... hard to think of one. Being stronger and improving your skills will result in a more positive mood. Try and see.You'll hear things like " that was so fun! " and " did you see that!?! ".
Increase levels of concentration- During a fitness class or in sports, kids get to learn how to focus and concentrate on what they need to do. Learning this at a young age can set them up for success in the future. Knowing when its okay to talk and play around and learning when its time to focus on the task at hand. Socializing- Team sports or organized activities teach kids how to work together to accomplish a task or win a game. 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. Self Regulation- Aerobic exercise can change brain chemistry, and specifically the levels of certain neurotransmitters that might help improve a childs self-regulation. When mood and self-regulation — the ability to control behavior — is improved, then children can function better.
Battling depression & Anxiety- Physical activity, and particularly moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, has a positive effect on reducing future depressive symptoms in middle childhood. In addition, increasing physical activity may serve as a complementary method in treating childhood depression. So sign them up for a couple of sports or fitness classes, ask what they like to do and stick with that and see how your child progresses.