by Robbie Gonzalez
May 29, 2015
Most of us have a childhood where we can look back and remember being outside, playing with friends, going to the playground or being at the baseball field for a neighborhood game.
We were active.
Generations change as culture changes. Tablets, smart phones and video games are great, but sometimes the advancement of technology cripples our youth into limited physical activity. But physical activity is an important part of childhood.
In order for us to grow into a healthy person, we need to work on our emotions, our intellect, our spiritual health and, yes, even our physical health. This can’t be something that we wait to do until a doctor scars us with our future health; we must take our children’s health seriously.
The benefits from children being physically active are endless, but here are a few:
1. Your children will have stronger muscles and bones.
This is important because, from our head to our toes, bones provide support for our bodies and help form our shape.
2. Your children will decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes can lead to vision problems, nerve damage, heart disease and kidney problems.
3. Your children will have a leaner body.
Exercise helps control body fat. Over the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. Obese children are at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
4. Physical activity lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.
In a child with hypertension/high blood pressure, the blood pushes too hard against the blood vessels, which can cause damage to blood vessels, the heart and other organs.
5. Your children will be less likely to be overweight.
Obesity is associated with increased risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix and prostate, as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
6. Physical activity improves psychological well being, including increased self-confidence and self-esteem.
Low self-esteem (feeling unwanted, unloved and unaccepted) can often lead to learning disabilities, disciplinary problems and depression later in life.
Young people need to have a recreational activity in their lives; it is essential to their development. Children who are involved in organized activities learn a lot about teamwork. The quality of being a good team player is something that will help them throughout their whole life.
At the very least, being part of a team can help young people to live a healthy lifestyle. Many sports require attaining a high fitness level, maintaining proper nutrition and keeping an awareness of what is required to perform in the sport. This also leads to emotional health and improved self-esteem.
Make sure your kids are involved in some sort of activity for the summer. You never know … it could save their life.