Physical Activity Benefits for Children's Growth & Development

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  • 0:01 Physical Activity
  • 0:21 Why It's Important
  • 1:33 Types and How Much
  • 3:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Is exercise all that important to kids? If so, then what kind of exercise and how much is appropriate? This lesson answers these questions and relays the benefits of childhood exercise.

Physical Activity

Kids love to play games, be it video games or games outside. And while some video games can really exercise the thumb or index finger, they don't provide much in the way of physical activity. That's a bummer too, because physical activity is really important for a child's growth and development.

Let's see how this is so and how much physical activity kids need.

Why It's Important

The reason physical activity is important for children isn't all that hard to understand. Let's follow along with little Timmy, who is 12 years old, to find out why.

Timmy's favorite activity is soccer. That's pretty common among kids. As Timmy trains for and plays in games, his endurance increases. Endurance just another way of saying stamina. This, of course, allows him to play for longer.

As he plays longer and longer, his body builds healthy muscle tissue and strengthens his bones. Of course, by exercising regularly he avoids being overweight too, so long as he eats a healthy diet. And we know that some kids can be cruel. They can be especially cruel to kids who are overweight. So whether it's because Timmy maintains an athletic shape or because his regular exercise and stamina allows him to be the captain of the soccer team, it increases his self-esteem!

Exercise is also known to improve the circulation to the brain and build a stronger mind. Physical activity can reduce stress and anxiety as well. All of these factors can help improve Timmy's grades in school!

A healthy body equals a healthy mind for little Timmy.

Types and How Much

So now we know why physical activity is important for children; but what kinds of physical activities can Timmy engage in besides soccer? How much is enough?

Besides soccer, Timmy can play all sorts of sports like basketball, football, and baseball. He can just run around with friends and play tag. He can kayak under close supervision, and he can even rock climb with his mom. There are so many possibilities for him!

Of course, there are some things Timmy shouldn't do as a growing child. Things like powerlifting for a young child may seem amazing but can hurt their still-developing tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones. This doesn't mean kids can't use free weights or even machines to strength train, but they should not do so before getting the ok from a doctor and they should only do so with close adult supervision.

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